Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Rumex acetosella
(sheep's sorrel)

Toolbox

Datasheet

Rumex acetosella (sheep's sorrel)

Pictures

Top of page
PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); habit.
TitleHabit
CaptionSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); habit.
Copyright©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); habit.
HabitSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); habit.©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); rosette.
TitleRosette
CaptionSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); rosette.
Copyright©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); rosette.
RosetteSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); rosette.©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); leaves.
TitleLeaves
CaptionSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); leaves.
Copyright©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); leaves.
LeavesSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); leaves.©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); inflorescence.
TitleInflorescence
CaptionSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); inflorescence.
Copyright©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); inflorescence.
InflorescenceSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); inflorescence.©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); close-up of florets.
TitleFlorets
CaptionSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); close-up of florets.
Copyright©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); close-up of florets.
FloretsSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); close-up of florets.©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); seeds.
TitleSeeds
CaptionSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); seeds.
Copyright©David R. Clements
Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); seeds.
SeedsSheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella); seeds.©David R. Clements

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Rumex acetosella L.

Preferred Common Name

  • sheep's sorrel

Other Scientific Names

  • Acetosa acetosella (L.) Mill.
  • Acetosa acetosella (L.) Small
  • Acetosa hastata Moench
  • Acetosella tenuifolia (Wallr.) A.Löve
  • Acetosella vulgaris (Koch) Fourr
  • Rumex angiocarpous Murb.
  • Rumex tenuifolius (Wallr.) A.Löve

International Common Names

  • English: common sheep sorrel; cow sorrel; field sorrel; horse sorrel; mountain sorrel; sheep sorrel; small sorrel; sorrel; sour weed
  • Spanish: acedera; acedera menor; cizaña; hierba de cristo; hierba roja; lengua de vaca; pactilla; romacilla; romacilla aceitosa; vinagrerita; vinagrillo
  • French: oseille; oseille de brebis; oseille sauvage; oseillette; patience petite-oseille; petite oseille; rumex petite oseille; sûrette; vinette sauvage
  • Chinese: xiao suan mo
  • Portuguese: azedinha; erva-azeda

Local Common Names

  • Argentina: vinagrita
  • Australia: common sorrel
  • Brazil: azeda-de-ovelha; azeda-miúda; azedinha-aleluia
  • Colombia: barrabacillo; lenguilla; sangre de toro
  • Germany: Kleiner Ampfer; Kleiner Sauerampfer; Kleiner Wiesensauerampfer
  • Italy: acetosa minore; acetosa piccola; acetosella; romice acetosella
  • Japan: himesuiba
  • Netherlands: zuring, schape-
  • Sweden: bergsyra
  • Turkey: kuzu kulagi
  • USA: red sorrel

EPPO code

  • RUMAA (Rumex acetosella)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

Holm et al. (1997) listed Rumex acetosella as one of the world’s worst weeds, infesting 45 different crops in 70 countries. In 1891, the government of New South Wales pronounced R. acetosella to be one of the worst weeds introduced into Australia (Holm et al., 1997). Although R. acetosella is not shade tolerant, it still may be competitive in forage situations where grazing opens up the canopy (Leege et al., 1981). Its ability to recover quickly from grazing or clipping impacts also aids in its persistence in grassland and pasture habitats (Val and Crawley, 2004). Another aspect increasing the invasiveness of R. acetosella is its relatively large seedbank (Frankton and Mulligan, 1987).

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Polygonales
  •                         Family: Polygonaceae
  •                             Genus: Rumex
  •                                 Species: Rumex acetosella

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

The derivation of "Rumex" is either the classical Latin name for sorrel, "rumo" meaning to suck, in reference to the practice of sucking the leaves to relieve thirst (Mosyakin, 2005), or from Pliny’s name for sorrel (Gledhill, 2002). The common name "sorrel" is from the old French "surelle", or "sorele", from the diminutive "sur" meaning sour or acid, as in "little acid plant" (Grigson, 1974) and "acetosella" is from the Latin for "slightly acid" (Gledhill, 2002).

Efforts have been made to identify various subspecies based on morphology and ploidy (Mosyakin, 2005). Four subspecies were recognised by den Nijs (1984)acetosella; pyrenaicus (Pourret ex Lapeyrouse) Akeroid [= angiocarpous (Murb.) emend. den Nijs]; multifidus (L.) Arc.; and acetoselloides (Bal.) den Nijs. To separate these subspecies, den Nijs (1984) employed morphological characteristics of angio- versus gymnocarpy and multifidity (the dissection of the basal leaf lobes), with the subsp. acetosella being gymnocarpous and nonmultified, pyrenaicus angiocarpous and non-multified, multifidus angiocarpous and multified, and acetoselloides gymnocarpous and multified (den Nijs, 1984).

Löve (1944) referred to Acetosella as a subgenus rather than a species, encompassing four species based on ploidy, within the R. acetosella complex. Löve (1983) revised this classification somewhat suggesting that Acetosella should be recognized as a genus including: Acetosella vulgaris (Koch) Fourr. (2n=42) with subsp. vulgaris being gymnocarpus and subsp. pyrenaica (Pourret) À.Löve being angiocarpous; A. multifida (L.) À.Löve (2n=28) being mainly gymnocarpous; A. graminifolia (Rudolph) À.Löve (2n=56); and A. angiocarpa (Murbeck) À.Löve (2n=14) appearing as both angiocarpous and gymnocarpous depending on geographic location. Although the distributions of subspecies are largely unknown, it is likely that the angiocarpous non-multified R. acetosella subsp. pyrenaicus (Löve’s Acetosella vulgaris subsp. pyrenaicus) is the most common in North America, while the others occur but are relatively rare (Mosyakin, 2005). Korpelainen (1995) reported less genetic variation in North American populations of subsp. pyrenaicus (angiocarpous) than in European populations.

Description

Top of page

R. acetosella is perennial, reproducing by both creeping roots and seed. It has relatively shallow, extensive slender roots. Early growth is as basal rosettes of leaves. Leaves are 1-8 cm long, smooth, variable in shape but primarily consisting of three lobes, primary lobe is linear to egg-shaped terminating in a point; two secondary lobes appear at the base of the primary lobe and point outwards giving an arrowhead-shape appearance to the leaves which are sour in taste. It has long basal leaf stalks and short-stalked to sessile leaves on the upper stem; a membranous sheath (modified stipules) surrounds the stem above the leaf base. Multiple stems can appear from a single crown growing upright, 15-40 cm in height, slender, branching near the top to form a loose leafless panicle. Flowers are unisexual with male and female appearing on separate plants (dioecious). Males have six stamens on short filaments, females have three styles with branched stellate stigma. Flowers consist of three inner and three outer tepals, appearing red to yellowish, borne on raceme near the top of the stem. Flower stalks are jointed close to the flower. Seeds are three sided (achenes), ca. 1.5 mm in length, shiny reddish brown in colour. A reddish brown hull often adheres to the seed and is rough in texture (Buchholtz et al., 1954; Hitchcock and Cronquist, 1981; Gleason and Cronquist, 1991; Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994; Douglas et al., 1999).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

Top of page

R. acetosella is native to Europe and southwestern Asia but has been introduced and spread throughout many regions of the world. R. acetosella is reported from 70 countries, including most agricultural areas except for equatorial regions of South America and Africa (Holm et al., 1997).

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ArmeniaPresentGBIF, 2013
AzerbaijanPresentGBIF, 2013
BhutanPresentGBIF, 2013
ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-FujianPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-HebeiPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-HeilongjiangPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-HenanPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-HunanPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-JiangxiPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-Nei MengguPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-ShandongPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-SichuanPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-XinjiangPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-YunnanPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-ZhejiangPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
IndiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013Not native throughout India
IndonesiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-JavaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
IranPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
JapanPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
KazakhstanPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
Korea, DPRPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
Korea, Republic ofPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
LebanonPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
MongoliaPresentGBIF, 2013
NepalPresentGBIF, 2013
PhilippinesPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2013
Sri LankaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
SyriaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
TaiwanPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
TurkeyPresentNative Not invasive Alpinar et al., 2009; USDA-ARS, 2013

Africa

AlgeriaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2013
GhanaPresentGBIF, 2013
LesothoPresentGBIF, 2013
MoroccoPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
RéunionPresentIntroduced Invasive Conservatoire Botanique National Mascarin, 2007; PIER, 2013
Saint HelenaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2013; ISSG, 2013
South AfricaPresentIntroduced Not invasive Frenot et al., 2005
SwazilandPresentGBIF, 2013

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlbertaPresentIntroduced Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
-ManitobaPresentIntroduced Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
-New BrunswickPresentIntroduced Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentIntroduced Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
-Nova ScotiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
-OntarioPresentIntroduced1820s Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
-Prince Edward IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
-QuebecPresentIntroduced1820s Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
-SaskatchewanPresentIntroduced Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
-Yukon TerritoryPresentIntroduced Invasive Stopps et al., 2011
GreenlandPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
MexicoPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
Saint Pierre and MiquelonPresentIntroduced1816-1819 Invasive ISSG, 2013
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-AlaskaPresentIntroduced Invasive Hultén, 1968; USDA-NRCS, 2013
-ArizonaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-ArkansasPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced1820s Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-ColoradoPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-ConnecticutPresentIntroduced1700s Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-DelawarePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-District of ColumbiaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-FloridaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2013; USDA-NRCS, 2013
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Wagner et al., 1999; PIER, 2013; USDA-NRCS, 2013
-IdahoPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-IllinoisPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-IndianaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-IowaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-KansasPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-KentuckyPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-LouisianaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-MainePresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-MarylandPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-MassachusettsPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-MichiganPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-MinnesotaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-MississippiPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-MissouriPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-MontanaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-NebraskaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-NevadaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-New HampshirePresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-New JerseyPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-New MexicoPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-New YorkPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-North DakotaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-OhioPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-OklahomaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-OregonPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-South DakotaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-TennesseePresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-TexasPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-UtahPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-VermontPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-VirginiaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-WashingtonPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-West VirginiaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-WisconsinPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013
-WyomingPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013

Central America and Caribbean

BarbadosPresentGBIF, 2013
Costa RicaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1997
Dominican RepublicPresentGBIF, 2013
El SalvadorPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1997
GuatemalaPresentGBIF, 2013
HaitiPresentGBIF, 2013
PanamaPresentGBIF, 2013

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2013
BoliviaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2013
BrazilPresentIntroducedDiscover Life, 2013
ChilePresentIntroducedChile Flora, 2009; USDA-ARS, 2013
-Easter IslandPresentIntroducedPIER, 2013
ColombiaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1997
EcuadorPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2013
Falkland IslandsPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2013; ISSG, 2013
PeruPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2013
South Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2013; ISSG, 2013
UruguayPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2013
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2013

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
AndorraPresentGBIF, 2013
AustriaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
BelarusPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
BelgiumPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
Bosnia-HercegovinaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
BulgariaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
CroatiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
Czech RepublicPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
Czechoslovakia (former)PresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
DenmarkPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
EstoniaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
Faroe IslandsPresentGBIF, 2013
FinlandPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
FrancePresentNative Not invasive Houssard and Escarré, 1991
-CorsicaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
GermanyPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
GreecePresentGBIF, 2013
HungaryPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
IrelandPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
ItalyPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
LatviaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
LithuaniaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
LuxembourgPresentGBIF, 2013
MacedoniaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
MoldovaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
MontenegroPresentGBIF, 2013
NetherlandsPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
NorwayPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
PolandPresentGBIF, 2013
PortugalPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
RomaniaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
Russian FederationPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Central RussiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-Eastern SiberiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-Northern RussiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-Russian Far EastPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-Southern RussiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
-Western SiberiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
SlovakiaPresentGBIF, 2013
SloveniaPresentGBIF, 2013
SpainPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
Svalbard and Jan MayenPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
SwedenPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
SwitzerlandPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
UKPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013
UkrainePresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2013

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroduced1847 Invasive Archer and Martin, 1979
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1997; PIER, 2013
-New South WalesPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1997
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Holm et al., 1997
-South AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Discover Life, 2013
-VictoriaPresentIntroduced Invasive Discover Life, 2013
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Discover Life, 2013
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Florence et al., 2013
French Southern and Antarctic TerritoriesPresentGBIF, 2013
New ZealandPresentIntroduced1867 Invasive Moore, 1954; Webb et al., 1988; NZPCN, 2010

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page

R. acetosella is widely distributed globally, having become naturalized in many regions and found in every continent, even Antarctica (Holm et al., 1997; Mosyakin, 2005). It was probably introduced to North America as an agricultural contaminant or a medicinal herb at multiple times during the European settlement. European "wild sorrel" was reported by Josselyn (1672) in New England, and pollen records from Linsley Pond, Connecticut, indicate early establishment of European Rumex spp. around 1700 in association with the establishment of European farming operations (McAndrews, 1988). The introduction of R. acetosella to the west coast of the USA is likely to have been linked to the Mexican settlement of California and the development of cattle ranches, with first occurrences noted in pollen records from the 1820s (Mudie and Byrne, 1980). A. Holm collected and observed R. acetosella as common around Montreal in 1821, marking the first Canadian records (Rousseau, 1968). Other early Canadian evidence of R. acetosella comes from the Crawford Lake, Ontario with pollen record of with R. acetosella first appearing in the 1820s in association with the historical settlement of the area from 1822 to 1864 (McAndrews, 1988).

Introductions

Top of page
Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Canada Europe 1820-1850 Crop production (pathway cause) Yes No McAndews (1988); Rousseau (1968)
USA Europe 1650-1700 Crop production (pathway cause) Yes No Josselyn (1672); McAndews (1988)

Risk of Introduction

Top of page

Due to its broad range of environmental tolerances and large seedbank, there is a risk that R. acetosella could become established in new areas following introduction as a seed contaminant.

Habitat

Top of page

R. acetosella is common in grasslands, pastures, rangelands, waste areas, forest clear cuts and along roadsides (Fowler, 1981; Leege et al., 1981; Alex, 1992; Anon., 2002), where it successfully competes under poor soil conditions, but its impact is reduced on good soils (Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993) and in cultivated fields (Alex, 1992). Stopps et al. (2011) list a number of plant communities that play host to R. acetosella in Canada including Douglas-fir forests, cedar-hemlock forests, Garry oak ecosystems, white spruce communities, jack pine communities, hardwood forests, cereal crops and lowbush blueberry fields. R. acetosella colonizes acidic tussock grasslands in New Zealand (Harris, 1970b). In the Pacific Islands, R. acetosella is primarily seen as an invasion risk at high elevations (PIER, 2013).

Habitat List

Top of page
CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Industrial / intensive livestock production systems Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Natural
Riverbanks Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Cold lands / tundra Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral
Coastal areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page

R. acetosella has been listed among the world’s worst weeds, infesting 45 different crops in 70 countries (Holm et al., 1997). It is a serious pest of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) in Eastern Canada  (McCully et al., 1991; Stopps et al., 2011). R. acetosella impacts blueberry yield via reduced floral bud numbers that result in considerably lower yields (Kennedy et al., 2010).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

Top of page
Plant nameFamilyContext
Hordeum (barleys)PoaceaeOther
Poaceae (grasses)PoaceaeWild host
Trifolium (clovers)FabaceaeMain
Vaccinium angustifolium (Lowbush blueberry)EricaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

Top of page

Genetics

R. acetosellacan be diploid, tetraploid, hexaploid or octoploid with chromosome numbers of 2n=14, 28, 42, 56 (Löve, 1944; Mulligan, 1959; Harris, 1969; Gleason and Cronquist, 1991). R. acetosella populations in North America are hexaploid with 2n=42 (Farris and Schaal, 1983), while European and Asian populations are primarily hexaploid, with some being diploid (2n=14), tetraploid (2n=28), or octoploid (2n=56) (Löve, 1944; Mulligan, 1959; Harris,1969).

R. acetosella is highly variable, encompassing a large number of genotypes with relatively specific ecological tolerances (Korpelainen, 1992a) likely determined by geographic origin (Korpelainen, 1993). High levels of phenotypic plasticity have also been observed in R. acetosella (Farris and Schaal, 1983; Houssard and Escarré, 1995), which may decline in long-term stable populations (Escarré et al., 1985).

Reproductive Biology

R. acetosella is primarily dioecious (Proctor et al., 1996) with andromonoecious intersexes occurring occasionally (Singh and Smith, 1971). Sex determination in R. acetosella and its subspecies is characterized by an XY sex mechanism that utilizes a strong male determinant in the Y-chromosome (Löve, 1983). Löve (1983) reported that the strong X-suppressant features of the Y-chromosome allow these polyploids to remain dioecious up to at least the dodecaploid level in experimental material. Sexual dimorphism in R. acetosella with respect to various morphological features is likely due to the higher reproductive effort in females (Fujitaka and Sakai, 2007).

R. acetosella is wind pollinated (Houssard and Escarré, 1991). Friedman and Barrett (2009) reported that pollen limitation was rare. Seeds are usually produced by allogamy but Löve (1944) reported that pseudogamy may occur in some hexaploids, and agamospermy may occur in some diploids. 

Female plants produce one three-sided seed (achene) per flower with seed production ranging from 124 to 247 seeds per flowering shoot in lowbush blueberry fields in Nova Scotia, Canada (Kennedy, 2009). Stevens (1932) observed 250 seeds per stem in Pennsylvania, USA; and as many as 1622 seeds per ramet were observed in France (Escarré and Thompson, 1991). Seed weight per 1000 seeds varies from 0.450 g to 0.525 g depending on location (Stevens, 1932). Escarré and Thompson (1991) observed a decrease in mean weight of filled seeds as ecological succession progressed at a site in France, involving genetically-based differences in resource allocation among different populations of R. acetosella.

Pakeman and Marshall (1997) reported that seeds of R. acetosella persisted in the seed bank of British heathlands; Granström (1987) observed viable seed buried for at least 5 years under coniferous forests in Sweden. Livingston and Allessio (1968) observed germination by R. acetosella seeds taken from soil of 80-year-old stands of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) even though R. acetosella had never been observed in the ground cover.

Optimal germination of R. acetosella occurred between 17.5 and 30ºC in Belgium (Assche et al., 2002). Seed germination appears to be inhibited by plant canopies (Harris, 1972). Putwain and Harper (1970) reported increased seedling populations upon removal of associated grass and broadleaf vegetation. Seedling emergence tends to occur throughout the spring, summer, and autumn in lowbush blueberry fields in Nova Scotia, with high seedling mortality (SN White, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, unpublished results).

In investigations into the effects of fire, exposure to temperatures over 70ºC greatly reduced seed viability, with pre-wetted seeds showing greater sensitivity (Granström and Shimmel, 1993). Immersion in concentrated sulfuric acid for 2-10 min stimulates germination (Andersen, 1968).

R. acetosella reproduces vegetatively via adventitious root buds arising from creeping roots (Kiltz, 1930; Escarré et al., 1994; Klimeš et al., 1997). R. acetosella is classified as “root sprouting” and not stoloniferous or rhizomatous because the buds arise directly from horizontal roots (Klimeš and Klimešová, 1999; Klimešová and Martínková, 2004). These buds develop into aerial shoots, i.e., true stems with scale-like leaves below the surface of the soil (Kiltz, 1930). Colonization by seed produces populations of individuals that may persist via vegetative propagation for at least 15-20 years (Escarré et al., 1994).

Physiology and Phenology

Production of root buds from horizontal creeping roots in autumn allows R. acetosella to overwinter under harsh conditions (Hoeg and Burgess, 2000). The base temperature for ramet emergence from creeping roots in Nova Scotia, Canada is approximately 5ºC, and optimal temperatures for ramet emergence range from 20 to 25ºC (SN White, unpublished results). Ramets fail to emerge at 40ºC or higher (SN White, unpublished results). In spring, root buds sprout to produce new basal rosette growth. In areas with mild winters such as southern British Columbia, Canada, the species is known to grow continuously through the winter (Anon., 2009).

Leaf size and shape remain constant under drought stress (Farris, 1983). Under dry conditions (c. 10% soil moisture), the photosynthetic rate declined to 10 mg CO2/g dry weight and leaf conductance declined to 0.05 cm/s; optimal rates at 40% soil moisture were 30 mg CO2/g dry weight and 0.15 cm/s, respectively (Zimmerman and Lechowicz, 1982). Supraoptimal soil moisture levels (e.g., 60%) decrease photosynthetic rate and conductance (Zimmerman and Lechowicz, 1982). Houssard et al. (1992) reported a differential response to moisture stress in male and female plants collected from 2- and 15-year-old successional sites. Males from both sites had reduced transpiration and water consumption rates under drought conditions. Females from the 2-year-old site responded similarly to water stress, but females from the 15-year-old site maintained high rates of transpiration and water consumption.

In greenhouse studies, Harris (1972) found photosynthates were transported among ramets of R. acetosella but not mineral nutrients. Similarly, Klimeš and Klimešová (1999) observed that ramets grown in a nutrient-rich soil failed to transport nutrients to connected ramets grown in nutrient deficient soil. Leaf tissues of R. acetosella contain large amounts of oxalic acid, but produce exudates with only moderate levels of oxalates (Tyler and Ström, 1995).

In terms of phenology, germination occurs through a broad span of time, from February to October in British Columbia, Canada (Anon., 2009). In the same region, bolting, flowering, and seed production occur from May to September (Anon., 2009) and from May to July in Ontario (OMAFRA, 2009). Very few ramets of R. acetosella flower in the first year in cooler regions such as eastern Canada; flowering in these populations appears to be induced by vernalization (SN White, unpublished results). Plants produced from seed either bolt and produce flowers or remain vegetative in the first year (Harris, 1970a). Bolting and flowering of first-year as well as mature plants is thought to be induced by long photoperiods (Carlson, 1965; Harris, 1970a). R. acetosella ramets flower in early June in lowbush blueberry fields in Nova Scotia (Kennedy, 2009). Esser (1995) provided a comprehensive listing of the flowering times of R. acetosella in various US states.

Nutrition

Increased herbage yield of R. acetosella was obtained when nitrogen and potassium were applied separately, but not together (Harris, 1971) but other tests have recorded increased density (Kennedy et al., 2003) or increased panicles per plant or biomass (Fan and Harris, 1996) with higher NPK fertilizer concentrations (Kennedy et al., 2010). The species appears to exhibit a high demand for phosphorous (Fransson et al., 2003). With fertilizer application, Kennedy et al. (2011) observed a shift from away from allocation to vegetative growth towards more allocation to reproduction.

Population Size and Structure

R. acetosella tends to colonize disturbed sites as an early successional species, quickly colonizing disturbed sites and waste places. As succession progresses R. acetosella declines rapidly in abundance, particularly on good-quality soils (Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993). As populations age R. acetosella allocates relatively more resources to vegetative propagation; younger populations that invest a greater proportion of resources to aerial biomass production and flowering (Escarré et al., 1994). 

In competitive situations, such as grass swards, R. acetosella populations may be maintained primarily by vegetative reproduction (Putwain et al., 1968). Putwain et al. (1968) observed that the number of vegetative shoots increased in the spring until flowering, and then declined through the remainder of the season. Removal of associated species within the sward resulted in a rapid increase of the mature R. acetosella population through vegetative reproduction (Putwain and Harper, 1970). In contrast, R. acetosella populations were not found to increase significantly following grass removal in lowbush blueberry fields in Nova Scotia (White, 2007). Ramet populations in lowbush blueberry seem to be regulated by a constant cycle of ramet emergence and mortality, but mortality of ramets tends to occur primarily in lateautumn (SN White, unpublished results).

Female plants tend to produce more vegetative shoots than male plants, but mortality of female shoots is generally higher (Lovett Doust and Lovett Doust, 1987). This higher mortality can be compensated for somewhat by renewed vegetative reproduction after flowering (Lovett Doust and Lovett Doust, 1987).

Female plants often suffer from reduced clonal growth following flowering, which can also result in male-biased sex ratios (Houssard et al., 1994). Korpelainen (1991) observed high variability in sex ratios of spatially segregated populations of R. acetosella, with some populations composed entirely of male or female plants. A male-biased sex ratio may be promoted under drought conditions because of greater tolerance of males to water stress (Houssard et al., 1992). Males also devote more resources to vegetative reproduction than females which by contrast allocate more energy into sexual reproduction growth in height (Fujitaka and Sakai, 2007). Males senesce earlier in the season than females (Putwain and Harper, 1972; Lovett Doust and Lovett Doust, 1987; Korpelainen, 1992b).

Associations

R. acetosella is reported to be a non-mycorrhizal species (Wang and Qiu, 2006) in North America (Medve, 1984; Dhillion and Friese, 1994), South America (Fontenia et al., 1998), and Europe (Harley and Harley, 1987; Pawlowska et al., 1996). Eriksen et al.(2002) observed the presence of internal fungal hyphae without arbuscules or vesicles in R. acetosella roots from Norway.

Environmental Requirements

R. acetosella is a cosmopolitan species well adapted to a broad range of climate conditions including temperate, subtropical and polar regions. Altitude ranges from  sea level to 1800 m in Sri Lanka (Harris, 1969), with extensive stands occurring as high as 1100 m in New Zealand (Moore, 1953). In interior regions of Canada, R. acetosella is capable of surviving both the harsh cold winters and the relatively hot dry summers, although it tends to be more abundant in temperate coastal regions.  

R. acetosella grows on a variety of soil types, thriving on silty loam (Zimmerman and Neuenschwander, 1984), sandy loam (Biswell, 1956; Wilson and Tilman, 1991), heavy clay soils (Moore, 1953) or gravelly soils (DeFerrari and Naiman, 1994) including acidic soils (Harris, 1969; Esser, 1995) but rarely on calcareous soils (IPANE, 2009) and is considered a calcifuge (Tyler and Ström, 1995). In acidic soils in Lithuania, 300-500 R. acetosella seeds per square metre were observed, whereas no seeds were found in limed soil (Ciuberkis et al., 2006). R. acetosella is more often associated with light soil texture and low soil fertility than low pH (Archer and Auld, 1982). R. acetosella grows on serpentine soils and on mine tailings and can persist with high nickel concentrations (Bagatto and Shorthouse, 1999; Wenzel et al., 2003).

Climate

Top of page
ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Preferred Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Tolerated Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)
Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Tolerated Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)
ET - Tundra climate Tolerated Tundra climate (Average temp. of warmest month < 10°C and > 0°C)

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • other
  • shallow

Natural enemies

Top of page
Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aphis fabae Herbivore Leaves not specific
Bonasa umbellus not specific
Lagopus lagopus scoticus not specific
Lycaena phlaeas Herbivore Leaves to species
Macrosiphum euphorbiae Herbivore Leaves not specific
Meloidogyne arenaria Parasite Roots not specific
Meloidogyne incognita Parasite Roots not specific
Tomato spotted wilt virus Pathogen Leaves not specific
Tympanuchus cupido cupido Herbivore not specific
Tympanuchus phasianellus campestris Herbivore not specific
Xiphinema americanum Parasite Roots not specific
Xiphinema rivesi Parasite Roots not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

Sheep, cattle and deer (Esser, 1995) graze leaves and shoots, but R. acetosella plants can recover fully, with the number of shoots potentially increasing following grazing (Leege et al., 1981). The plant is grazed by various grouse species in North America including the sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus campestris) the greater prairie chicken or pinnated grouse (Tympanuchus cupido cupido) and the ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) (Johnson, 1928; Schmidt, 1936; Brown, 1946; Treichler et al., 1946; Stafford and Dimmick, 1979). The red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) feeds on R. acetosella seeds in the UK (Schmidt, 1936).

R. acetosella is host to over 30 lepidopteran species (Robinson et al., 2007) including the American copper (Lycaena phlaeas), one of the world’s most widespread temperate zone butterflies (León-Cortés et al., 2000). It is also host to at least 16 species of aphid, including the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae) and the potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae; Holman, 2009).

Nematode species associated with R. acetosella include Xiphinema americanum and X. rivesi, in apple and peach orchards of Indiana, New York and Pennsylvania (Powell et al., 1984), and Meloidogyne arenaria and M. incognita, in tobacco crops of South Carolina (Tedford and Fortnum, 1988).

R. acetosella hosts more than 40 fungal species (Farr et al., 2010). Many of these such as Cercospora spp., the cause of leaf spot (Farr et al., 2010), are pathogenic to agricultural crops. Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) has been detected on R. acetosella plants collected from commercial farms in southwestern British Columbia (Bitterlich and MacDonald, 1993). The Tomato ring spot virus (TmRSV), transmitted by nematodes, is associated with R. acetosella in apple and peach orchards of Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania (Powell et al., 1984). Hughes (2012) found that the incidence of botrytis blight, a major disease in wild blueberry (caused by Botrytis cinerea) was increased in the presence of R. acetosella.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page

Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

The seeds of R. acetosella do not have any morphological structures to facilitate long-distance dispersal, and thus most seeds simply fall off the plant and disperse for short distances, assisted by wind or water (Houssard and Escarré, 1991).

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

Seeds are dispersed by insects (ants) (Houssard and Escarré, 1991) or through the digestive tract of domestic birds and animals (Anon., 2006).

Accidental Introduction

The plant may be transported on agricultural implements (Boyd and White, 2009) and occasionally as a contaminant in forage seed such as clover (Mudie and Byrne, 1980; McAndrews, 1988; Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993).

Intentional Introduction

There are no specifically reported cases of intentional introduction, although in former times it was occasionally introduced as a medicinal herb.

Pathway Causes

Top of page
CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Animal production Yes Leege et al., 1981
Crop productionOn agricultural machinery and as a seed contaminant Yes Yes Boyd and White, 2009; Josselyn, 1672; McAndews, 1988; Rousseau, 1968
Digestion and excretion Yes
Disturbance Yes Putwain and Harper, 1970
ForageAs a seed contaminant Yes Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993

Pathway Vectors

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Host and vector organismsTransport by ants Yes Houssard and Escarré, 1991
Livestock Yes Leege et al., 1981
Water Yes Houssard and Escarré, 1991
Wind Yes Houssard and Escarré, 1991

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Negative
Environment (generally) Negative

Economic Impact

Top of page

R. acetosella is known to infest 45 different crops in 70 countries (Holm et al., 1997). Despite the widespread presence of R. acetosella and other sources of notoriety such as the declaration in 1891 by the government of New South Wales of R. acetosella as the “worst weed ever introduced into Australia” (Holm et al., 1997), the economic damage by R. acetosella is not generally too great. Chief among its economic impacts are competition with forage crops, when conditions favour its growth (Harris, 1972; Leege et al. ,1981). Although R. acetosella is susceptible to shading, grazing can reduce competition and thus elevate the impact of R. acetosella on forage crops (Leege et al., 1981). Its ability to recover quickly from clipping also helps make it competitive (Val and Crawley, 2004). The presence of R. acetosella in clover can contaminate seeds because its seeds are similar (Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993). Large R. acetosella soil seed banks can also result in clover crop failure (Frankton and Mulligan, 1987).

Environmental Impact

Top of page

Impact on Habitats

The greatest impacts on natural habitats by R. acetosella generally occur in the wake of disturbance by biomass removal or fire, whereby R. acetosella is capable of rapid colonization as an early successional species (Escarré et al., 1994). If disturbance over time is reduced, however, R. acetosella tends to decrease in response to competition (Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993).

Impact on Biodiversity

Habitats with high levels of plant diversity and relatively frequent disturbance, such as Garry oak ecosystems in western North America are vulnerable to invasion by R. acetosella (Anon., 2009).

Social Impact

Top of page

As a widespread garden weed, R. acetosella is encountered by many homeowners around the world, although it is relatively benign compared to other weed species.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts animal health
  • Negatively impacts livelihoods
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant

Uses

Top of page

R. acetosella is well-liked as a green for salads in Europe and North America and has also been used in herbal medicines (Stopps et al., 2011).

Uses List

Top of page

General

  • Research model

Human food and beverage

  • Leaves (for beverage)
  • salad

Materials

  • Chemicals

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page

Rumex acetosella may commonly be mistaken for R. acetosa L. (common or garden sorrel). R. acetosella and R. acetosa may have been used interchangeably or together in herbal medicines and foods (Pieroni, 2000), as both contain oxalic acid, conferring a sour taste and poisonous properties if consumed in large quantities (Cooper and Johnson, 1984). Rumex acetosa is distinguished by its larger size (up to 90 cm in height with leaves up to 10 cm in length) (Cooper and Johnston, 1984; Frankton and Mulligan, 1987), the presence of a distinct joint at the midpoint of the pedicel (Frankton and Mulligan, 1987), and the presence of valves that have expanded into broad reticulate wings surrounding the achenes (Gleason and Cronquist, 1991). 

R. acetosella may also be mistaken for R. rugosus Campd. (syn: R. ambiguous Gren.) and R. thyrsiflorus Fingerh. (Frankton and Mulligan, 1987). Both R. rugosus and R. thyrsiflorus are similar to R. acetosa and can likewise be distinguished from R. acetosella on the basis of their large size and the presence of a distinct joint near the middle of the flower stalk (Frankton and Mulligan, 1987).

Another similar species is Rumex hastatulus, which can be distinguished by the presence of broad expanded valves that form reticulate wings around the achenes (Gleason and Cronquist,1991). Leaves of R. hastatulus are often arrow-shaped, but they also appear entire (Gleason and Cronquist,1991), unlike those of R. acetosella. Rumex acetosa and R. hastatulus also differ from R. acetosella in chromosome number, with 2n=14 (females) or 15 (males) in R. acetosa, and 2n=26 (female) or 27 (male) in R. hastatulus (Gleason and Cronquist, 1991).

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Control

Cultural control and sanitary measures

As R. acetosella prefers poor soils with low pH, liming to raise soil pH may inhibit its growth relative to other species (Clark and Fletcher, 1923; Juska, 1960; Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993; Anon., 2006). The application of lime and 2,4-D improved control of R. acetosella from 40.9% (2,4-D only) to 73.1% (2,4-D + lime) (Juska, 1960). Combining lime with nitrogen fertilizer is also recommended to shift competition in favou rof other species over R. acetosella (Clark and Fletcher, 1923; Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993). 

Prescribed burning has been suggested for R. acetosella control, but it is unlikely to provide satisfactory control unless fires are extremely severe (Esser, 1995). Following burning of wild blueberry fields, a large increase of R. acetosella was observed (Penney et al., 2008), though subsequent burnings did reduce the occurrence of R. acetosella, likely due to destruction of seed in the seed bank. 

Physical/mechanical control

Attempts to eradicate R. acetosella through cultivation may be possible but creeping rootstalks and long-lived seeds may hinder such efforts. A 3- to 4-year rotation of crops with clean cultivation, followed by a grain and/or a cover crop, and finally a return to pasture or perennial crop is effective at reducing R. acetosella infestations (Clark and Fletcher, 1923; Fitzsimmons and Burrill ,1993). Infested areas should be cultivated at regular intervals allowing for some regrowth before re-cultivation to exhaust food reserves in root fragments (Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993). 

Movement control

As R. acetosella can be a contaminant in forage seed (Mudie and Byrne, 1980; McAndrews, 1988; Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993), it is imperative that measures are in place to prevent long-distance dispersal via that pathway. Boyd and White (2009) recommended reducing the movement of R. acetosella seeds in blueberry crops through harvesting by avoiding high density patches or adjusting harvest times, as well as cleaning of harvest equipment and other agricultural implements.

Biological control

Biological control has not been attempted for R. acetosella; neither have potential biological control agents been clearly identified (Stopps et al., 2011). 

Chemical control

R. acetosella is seldom completely controlled by 2,4-D (Juska, 1960; Harper, 1977; Burrill et al., 1990; Smith, 1995), but mixtures of 2,4-D with dicamba, dichlorprop, triclopyr or glyphosate can provide a high level of control (Lorenzi and Jeffery, 1987; Smith, 1995). Dicamba alone was shown to provide 85-100% control (Burrill et al., 1990; Smith, 1995). Other effective chemicals include paraquat (Burrill et al., 1990) or picloram (Harper, 1977). Hexazinone has been used in wild blueberry fields in eastern North America for more than 30 years (Li, 2013) and hexazinone-tolerant R. acetosella may be present in some areas (McCully et al., 2005). Li (2013) showed that hexazinone in combination with either rimsulfuron or nicosulfuron provided a good alternative to hexazinone alone. Other suggested candidates for chemical control of R. acetosella include mesotrione, sulfentrazone and atrazine (Hoeg and Burgess, 2000; Graham and Melanson, 2007).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

Top of page

Much is known about the biology of R. acetosella, although some notable gaps still exist. For example, more could be done to understand the apparent lack of mycorrhizal associations. Much of its basic phenology or physiology in certain environments, such as blueberry fields is unknown (Kennedy et al., 2011). A lengthy list of herbivores and pathogens found on R. acetosella is available but the actual impacts of most of these species on growth and reproduction are largely unknown. A better understanding of its life history, especially with respect to seed banks could be helpful in developing management strategies. In areas where it is a serious pest, such as in blueberry crops in eastern North America (McCully et al., 1991; Boyd and White, 2009; Stopps et al., 2011), there is a need for extensive research into management. Considerable research is in fact being pursued in this region (SN White, personal communication), which may prove useful for management of R. acetosella in other world regions.

References

Top of page

Adkins S, 2000. Tomato spotted wilt virus - positive steps towards negative success. Molecular Plant Pathology, 1(3):151-157.

Alaska Natural Heritage Program, 2006. Sheep sorrel: Non-native plant species of Alaska. Anchorage, USA: University of Alaska. http://aknhp.uaa.alaska.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Rumex_acetosella_BIO_RUAC3.pdf

Alex JF, 1992. Ontario weeds. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food Publication, 505:304.

Alpinar K, Özyürek U, Kolak U, Güçlü K, Aras C, Altun M, Çelik SE, Berker KI, Bektasoglu B, Apak R, 2009. Antioxidant capacities of some food plants wildly grown in Ayvalik of Turkey. Food Science and Technology Research, 15(1):59-64.

Andersen RN, 1968. Germination and establishment of weeds for experimental purposes: (A Weed Science Society of America Handbook). Illinois, USA: Weed Science Society of America, 236 pp.

Anon., 2002. A guide to weeds in British Columbia. Victoria, Canada: British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries, 200 pp.

Anon., 2006. Sheep sorrel: Non-native plant species of Alaska. Sheep sorrel: Non-native plant species of Alaska. Anchorage, USA: Alaska Natural Heritage Program. http://akweeds.alaska.edu/pdfs/species_bios_pdfs/Species_bios_RUAC.pdf

Anon., 2009. Rumex acetosella: Invasive species in Garry oak and associated ecosystems in British Columbia. Rumex acetosella: Invasive species in Garry oak and associated ecosystems in British Columbia., Canada: Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team. http://www.goert.ca/documents/R.acetosella.pdf

Archer AC, Auld BA, 1982. A review of the ecology of sorrel (Rumex acetosella) in pastures. Australian Weeds, 1(3):15-18.

Archer AC, Martin PM, 1979. The range and status of Rumex acetosella in Australia. In: Proceedings of the 7th Asian Pacific Weed Science Society Conference. 347-350.

Assche J van, Nerum D van, Darius P, 2002. The comparative germination ecology of nine Rumex species. Plant Ecology, 159(2):131-142.

Bagatto G, Shorthouse JD, 1999. Biotic and abiotic characteristics of ecosystems on acid metalliferous mine tailings near Sudbury, Ontario. Canadian Journal of Botany, 77(3):410-425.

Bitterlich I, MacDonald LS, 1993. The prevalence of tomato spotted wilt virus in weeds and crops in southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Plant Disease Survey, 73(2):137-142

Boyd NS, White S, 2009. Impact of wild blueberry harvesters on weed seed dispersal within and between fields. Weed Science, 57(5):541-546.

Brown CP, 1946. Food of Maine ruffed grouse by seasons and cover types. Journal of Wildlife Management, 10(1):17-28.

Bruni A, Ballero M, Poli F, 1997. Quantitiative ethnopharmalogical study of the Campidano Valley and the Urzulei district, Sardinia, Italy. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 57:97-124.

Buchholtz KP, Grigsby BH, Lee OC, Slife FW, Willard CJ, Volk NJ, 1954. Weeds of the North Central States. North Central Regional Research Publication No. Univ. Illinois Agric. Exp. Sta. Urbana, IL. North Central Regional Research Publication, 36. Urbana, USA: Univ. Illinois Agric. Exp. Sta., 239.

Burrill LC, William RD, Parker R, Howard SW, Eberlein C, Callihan RH, 1990. Pacific Northwest weed control handbook. Corvallis, USA: Oregon State University, 298.

Carlson GE, 1965. Photoperiodic control of adventitious stem initiation on roots. Crop Science, Madison, 5(3):248-50.

Chile Flora, 2009. Rumex acetosella L. http://www.chileflora.com/Florachilena/FloraEnglish/HighResPages/EH0686.htm

Ciuberkis S, Bernotas S, Raudonius S, 2006. Long-term manuring effect on weed flora in acid and limed soils. Acta Agriculturæ Scandinavica. Section B, Plant Soil Science, 56(2):96-100.

Clark GH, Fletcher J, 1923. Farm weeds of Canada, 2nd edition. Ottawa, Canada: F.A. Acland, 192 pp.

Conservatoire Botanique National Mascarin, 2007. Rumex acetosella. Index de la flore vasculaire de la Réunion (Trachéophytes) : statuts, menaces et protections, Version 2007. 1. http://flore.cbnm.org/index2.php?page=taxon&num=beb22abb9ec56c0cf7ec7d811dd91a56

Cooper MR, Johnson AW, 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. London, UK: HM Stationery Office, xiv + 305pp.

Dhillion SS, Friese CF, 1994. The occurrence of mycorrhizas in prairies: Application to ecological restoration. In: 13th North American Prairie Conference Proceedings. Windsor, USA: University of Windsor Press, 103-114.

Discover Life, 2013. On-Line Mapper. http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20m?kind=Rumex+acetosella&guide=Wildflowers&cl=US/CO/Gunnison/Rocky_Mountain_Biological_Laboratory

Douglas GW, Meidinger D, Pojar J, 1999. Illustrated flora of British Columbia, Volume 4: Dicotyledons (Orobanchaceae through Rubiaceae). Victoria, BC, Canada: BC Ministry of the Environment, Lands and Parks, and BC Ministry of Forests, 427 pp.

Eriksen M, Bjureke KE, Dhillion SS, 2002. Mycorrhizal plants of traditionally managed boreal grasslands in Norway. Mycorrhiza, 12(3):117-123.

Escarré J, Houssard C, Briane JP, 1985. Genotypic and phenotypic variation within Rumex acetosella L. populations along a secondary succession. Genetic differences and dispersal in plants, NATO ASI Series, Series G: 223-238. [Ecological Sciences, Vol 5.]

Escarré J, Houssard C, Thompson JD, 1994. An experimental study of the role of seedling density and neighbor relatedness in the persistence of Rumex acetosella in an old-field succession. Canadian Journal of Botany, 72(9):1273-1281.

Escarré J, Thompson JD, 1991. The effects of successional habitat variation and time of flowering on seed production in Rumex acetosella. Journal of Ecology, 79:1099-1112.

Esser LL, 1995. Rumex acetosella. USDA, Forest Service. Rocky Mountain Res. Stat, Fire Sci. Lab. Fire effects information system., USA: Rocky Mountain Res. Stat, Fire Sci. Lab.

Fan JiangWen, Harris W, 1996. Effects of soil fertility level and cutting frequency on interference among Hieracium pilosella, H. praealtum, Rumex acetosella, and Festuca novae-zelandiae. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 39(1):1-32.

Farr DF, Rossman AY, Palm ME, McCray EB, 2010. Fungal databases, systematic mycology and microbiology laboratory. ARS, USDA. http://nt.ars-grin.gov/fungaldatabases/

Farris MA, 1983. Leaf size and shape variation associated with drought stress in Rumex acetosella L. (Polygonaceae). American Midland Naturalist, 111:358-363.

Farris MA, Schaal BA, 1983. Morphological and genetic variation in ecologically central and marginal populations of Rumex acetosella. (Polygonaceae). American Journal of Botany, 70:246-255.

Fitzsimmons JP, Burrill LC, 1993. Weeds: Red sorrel (Rumex acetosella L.). Pacific Northwest Extn. Publ:PNW 446.

Florence J, Chevillotte H, Ollier C, Meyer J-Y, 2013. Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP) (Botanical database of the Nadeaud Herbarium of French Polynesia). http://www.herbier-tahiti.pf

Fontenla S, Godoy R, Rosso P, Havrylenko M, 1998. Root associations in Austrocedrus forests and seasonal dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizas. Mycorrhiza, 8(1):29-33.

Fowler N, 1981. Competition and coexistence in a North Carolina grassland. II. The effects of the experimental removal of species. Journal of Ecology, 69(3):843-854.

Frankton C, Mulligan GA, 1987. Weeds of Canada. Publication, Agriculture Canada Toronto, Ontario, Canada; NC Press Limited, No. 948.

Fransson AM, Aarle IMvan, Olsson PA, Tyler G, 2003. Plantago lanceolata L. and Rumex acetosella L. differ in their utilisation of soil phosphorus fractions. Plant and Soil, 248(1/2):285-295.

Frenot Y, Chown SL, Whinam J, Selkirk P, Convey P, Skotnicki M, Bergstrom D, 2005. Biological invasions in the Antarctic: extent, impacts and implications. Biological Reviews, 80:45-72.

Friedman J, Barrett SCH, 2009. Wind of change: new insights on the ecology and evolution of pollination and mating in wind-pollinated plants. Annals of Botany, 103(9):1515-1527.

Fujitaka T, Sakai S, 2007. Sexual dimorphism in clonal growth forms and ramet distribution patterns in Rumex acetosella (Polygonaceae). Ecological Research, 22(2):248-254.

Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team, 2009. Rumex acetosella. Invasive species in Garry oak and associated ecosystems in British Columbia. http://www.goert.ca/documents/R.acetosella.pdf

GBIF, 2013. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). http://data.gbif.org/species/

Gleason HA, Cronquist A, 1991. Manual of vascular plants of the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada, 2nd edition [ed. by 2n]. Bronx, USA: New York Botanical Garden, 910.

Gledhill D, 2002. Names of plants, 3rd edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 326.

Graham GL, Melanson MJ, 2007. Evaluation of spring applied, crop-year herbicides for sheep sorrel control in wild blueberries. Evaluation of spring applied, crop-year herbicides for sheep sorrel control in wild blueberries., Canada: New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture. http://www.gnb.ca/0389/2007/03892007009-e.asp

Granström A, 1987. Seed viability of fourteen species during five years of storage in a forest soil. Journal of Ecology, UK, 75(2):321-331.

Granström A, Schimmel J, 1993. Heat effects on seeds and rhizomes of a selection of boreal forest plants and potential reaction to fire. Oecologia, 94(3):307-313.

Grigson G, 1974. A dictionary of English plant names. London, UK: Allen Lane, 237.

Guarrera PM, 2003. Food medicine and minor nourishment in the folk traditions of Central Italy (Marche, Abruzzo and Latium). Fitoterapia, 74(6):515-544.

Harley JL, Harley EL, 1987. A check-list of mycorrhiza in the British flora. New Phytologist, 105(2, Supplement):102pp.

Harper JL, 1977. Population biology of plants. Population biology of plants. London, UK: Academic Press., xxii + 892pp.

Harris W, 1969. Seed characters and organ size in the cytotaxonomy of Rumex acetosella L. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 7(2):125-41.

Harris W, 1970. Genecological aspects of flowering and vegetative reproduction in Rumex acetosella. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 8(2):99-113.

Harris W, 1970. Yield and habit of New Zealand populations of Rumex acetosella at three altitudes in Canterbury. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 8(2):114-131.

Harris W, 1971. The effects of fertilizer and lime on the competitive interactions of Rumex acetosella L. with Trifolium repens L. and Lolium sp. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 14(1):185-207.

Harris W, 1972. Shading, defoliation, temperature, growth stage, and residual fertility effects on competition between Rumex acetosella, Trifolium repens, and Lolium (multiflorum X perenne). New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 15:687-705.

Hitchcock C, Cronquist A, 1981. Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Manual. Seattle, USA: University of Washington Press, 730.

Hoeg R, Burgess P, 2000. Sheep sorrel: Lowbush blueberry fact sheet. Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing. http://nsac.ca/wildblue/facts/weeds/sheep_sorrel.pdf

Holm L, Doll J, Holm E, Pancho J, Herberger J, 1997. World weeds: natural histories and distribution. Wiley-Blackwell, 1129 pp.

Holman J, 2009. Host plant catalog of aphids: Palaearctic Region. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 1216 pp.

Houssard C, Escarré J, 1991. The effects of seed weight on growth and competitive ability of Rumex acetosella from two successional old-fields. Oecologia, 86(2):236-242.

Houssard C, Escarré J, 1995. Variation and covariation among life-history traits in Rumex acetosella from a successional old-field gradient. Oecologia, 102(1):70-80.

Houssard C, Escarré J, Vartanian N, 1992. Water stress effects on successional populations of the dioecious herb, Rumex acetosella L. New Phytologist, 120(4):551-559.

Houssard C, Thompson JD, Escarré J, 1994. Do sex-related differences in response to environmental variation influence the sex-ratio in the dioecious Rumex acetosella? Oikos, 70(1):80-90.

Hughes AD, 2012. An ecological study on red sorrel (Rumex acetosella L.) in wild blueberry fields in Nova Scotia. Halifax, Canada: Dalhousie University, 116.

Hultén E, 1968. Flora of Alaska and Neighboring Territories. Stanford, USA: Stanford University Press, 1008.

IPANE, 2009. Rumex acetosella. Invasive plant atlas of New England. [University of Connecticut Online Database. .] http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/

ISSG, 2013. Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). Auckland, New Zealand: University of Auckland. http://www.issg.org/database

Jensen KIN, Specht EG, 2002. Response of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) to hexazinone applied early in the fruiting year. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 82(4):781-783.

Johnson RA, 1928. The fall food habits of the ruffed grouse in the Syracuse area of New York. Auk, 45:330-333.

Josselyn J, 1672. New England's rarities discovered. Boston, USA: William Veazie,114.

Juska FV, 1960. Sheep sorrel: Its control. The Golf Course Reporter, June:44-46.

Kaegi E, 1998. Unconventional therapies for cancer: 1. Essiac. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 158(7):897-902.

Kennedy K, 2009. Combined effect of fertilizer and hexazinone on sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella L.) populations in lowbush blueberry fields. Halifax, Canada: Dalhousie University, 116.

Kennedy KJ, Boyd NS, Nams VO, 2010. Hexazinone and fertilizer impacts on sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella) in wild blueberry. Weed Science, 58(3):317-322.

Kennedy KJ, Boyd NS, Nams VO, Olson AR, 2011. The impacts of fertilizer and hexazinone on sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella) growth patterns in lowbush blueberry fields. Weed Science, 59(3):335-340.

Kiltz BF, 1930. Perennial weeds which spread vegetatively. Journal of the American Society of Agronomy, 22:216-234.

Klimeš L, Klimešová J, Hendriks R, Groenendael Jvan, 1997. Clonal plant architecture: a comparative analysis of form and function. In: The ecology and evolution of clonal plants [ed. by Kroon, H. de \Groenendael, J. van]. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys, 1-29.

Klimešová J, Martínková J, 2004. Intermediate growth forms as a model for the study of plant clonality functioning: an example with root sprouters. Evolutionary Ecology, 18:669-681.

Korpelainen H, 1991. Sex ratio variation and spatial segregation of the sexes in populations of Rumex acetosa and R. acetosella (Polygonaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 174(3-4):183-195.

Korpelainen H, 1992. Microgeographical and temporal variation in the genetic-structure of Rumex acetosella populations. Biologisches Zentrablatt, 111:27-37.

Korpelainen H, 1992. Patterns of resource allocation in male and female plants of Rumex acetosa and R. acetosella. Oecologia, 89(1):133-139.

Korpelainen H, 1993. Vegetative growth in Rumex acetosella (Polygonaceae) originating from different geographic regions. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 188(2):115-123.

Korpelainen H, 1995. Geographical differentiation in allozyme variation in Rumex acetosella subspecies acetosella and angiocarpus. Weed Research (Oxford), 35(5):413-419.

Leege TA, Herman DJ, Zamora B, 1981. Effects of cattle grazing on mountain meadows in Idaho. Journal of Range Management, 34(4):324-328.

León-Cortés JL, Cowley MJR, Thomas CD, 2000. The distribution and decline of a widespread butterfly Lycaena phlaeas in a pastoral landscape. Ecological Entomology, 25(3):285-294.

Lepofsky D, Turner NJ, Kuhnlein HV, 1985. Determining the availability of traditional wild plant foods: an example of Nuxalk foods, Bella Coola, British Columbia. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 16(3):223-241.

Li Z, 2013. Examination of hexazinone alternatives for wild blueberry production and hexazinone resistance in red sorrel (Rumex acetosella L.). Halifax, Canada: Dalhousie University, 116.

Livingston RB, Allessio ML, 1968. Buried viable seed in successional field and forest stands, Harvard Forest, Massachusetts. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, 95(1):58-69.

Lorenzi HJ, Jeffery LS, 1987. Weeds of the United States and their control. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 355 pp.

Lovett Doust L, Lovett Doust J, 1987. Leaf demography and clonal growth in female and male Rumex acetosella. Ecology, 68:2056-2058.

Löve A, 1944. Cytogenetic studies on Rumex subgenus Acetosella. Hereditas, 30:1-136.

McAndews JH, 1988. Human disturbance of North American forests and grasslands: the fossil pollen record.Sci. series. Kluwer. In: Vegetation history: Handbook of Veg [ed. by Huntley, B. \Webb, T.]. Utrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer, 673-697.

McCully K, Jensen K, Chiasson G, Melanson M, 2005. Wild lowbush blueberry IPM weed management guide. Kentville, Canada: New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Aquaculture. http://www.gnb.ca/0171/10/017110020-e.pdf

McCully KV, Sampson MG, Watson AK, 1991. Weed survey of Nova Scotia lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) fields. Weed Science, 39(2):180-185.

Medve RJ, 1984. The mycorrhizae of pioneer species in disturbed ecosystems in western Pennsylvania. American Journal of Botany, 71(6):787-794.

Migliore L, Civitareale C, Brambilla G, Cozzolino S, Casoria P, Gaudio L, 1997. Effects of sulphadimethoxine on cosmopolitan weeds (Amaranthus retroflexus L., Plantago major L. and Rumex acetosella L.). Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 65(2):163-168.

Ministry of Agriculture BC, Food and Fisheries and Open Learning Agency, 2002. A guide to weeds in British Columbia [ed. by Parchoma, G. \Stape, J.]. Victoria, Canada: British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries, 200.

Mito T, Uesugi T, 2004. Invasive alien species in Japan: the status quo and the new regulation for prevention of their adverse effects. Global Environmental Research, 8(2):171-191.

Moore B, 1954. Some Rumex acetosella communities in New Zealand. Vegetatio, 5-6:268-278.

Mosyakin SL, 2005. Rumex Linnaeus. In: Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, 5(2). New York, USA: Oxford University Press, 489-533. [Flora of North America editorial committee, Flora of North America North of Mexico.] www.efloras.org

Mudie PJ, Byrne R, 1980. Pollen evidence for historic sedimentation rates in California coastal marshes. Estuarine Coastal Marine Science, 10:305-316.

Mulligan GA, 1959. Chromosome numbers of Canadian weeds II. Canadian Journal of Botany, 37:81-92.

Nijs JCMden, 1984. Biosystematic studies of the Rumex acetosella complex (Polygonaceae) VIII A taxonomic revision. Feddes Repertorium, 95:43-66.

NZPCN, 2010. Rumex acetosella. New Zealand Plant Conservation Network http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.asp?ID=2915

OMAFRA, 2009. Sheep sorrel: Ontario crop IPM. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs. http://www.omafra.ca/IPM/english/weedsherbicides/gallery/sheep-sorrel.html

Pakeman RJ, Marshall AG, 1997. The seedbanks of the Breckland heaths and heath grasslands, eastern England, and their relationship to the vegetation and the effects of management. Journal of Biogeography, 24(3):375-390.

Parrella G, Gognalons P, Gebre-Selassiè K, Vovlas C, Marchoux G, 2003. An update of the host range of tomato spotted wilt virus. Journal of Plant Pathology, 85(4 Special issue):227-264.

Pawlowska TE, Baszkowski J, Rühling A, 1996. The mycorrhizal status of plants colonizing a calamine spoil mound in southern Poland. Mycorrhiza, 6(6):499-505.

Penney BG, McRae KB, Rayment AF, 2008. Effect of long-term burning on the flora in a lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) stand. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 88:351-362.

PIER, 2013. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Pieroni A, 2000. Medicinal plants and food medicines in the folk traditions of the upper Lucca Province, Italy. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 70(3):235-273.

Pieroni A, 2000. Medicinal plants and food medicines in the folk traditions of the upper Lucca Province, Italy. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 70:235-273.

Pojar J, MacKinnon A, 1994. Plants of Coastal British Columbia including Washington, Oregon & Alaska. Vancouver, Canada: Lone Pine Publishing, 527.

Powell CA, Forer LB, Stouffer RF, Cummins JN, Gonsalves D, Rosenberger DA, Hoffman J, Lister RM, 1984. Orchard weeds as hosts of tomato ringspot and tobacco ringspot viruses. Plant Disease, 68(3):242-244

Proctor M, Yeo P, Lack A, 1996. The natural history of pollination. London, UK: HarperCollins Publishers, 479 pp.

Putwain PD, Harper J, 1970. Studies in the dynamics of plant populations: III. The influence of associated species on populations of Rumex acetosa L. and Rumex acetosella L. in grassland. Journal of Ecology, 58:251-264.

Putwain PD, Harper J, 1972. Studies in the dynamics of plant populations: V. Mechanisms governing the sex ration in Rumex acetosa and Rumex acetosella. Journal of Ecology, 60:113-129.

Putwain PD, Machin D, Harper JL, 1968. Studies in the dynamics of plant populations: II. Components and regulation of a natural population of Rumex acetosella L. Journal of Ecology, 56:421-431.

Robinson, GS, Ackery, PR, Kitching IJ, Beccaloni GW, Hernández LM, 2007. HOSTS - a database of the world's Lepidopteran hostplants. London, UK: Natural History Museum. http://www.uk/jdsml/research-curation/research/projects/hostplants/index

Rousseau C, 1968. Histoire, habitat et distribution de 220 plants introduites au Québec. Naturaliste Canadien, 95:49-169.

Schmidt FJW, 1936. Winter food of the sharp-tailed grouse and the pinnate grouse in Wisconsin. Wilson Bulletin, 48:186-203.

Singh RB, Smith BW, 1971. The mechanism of sex determination in Rumex acetosella. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 41(8):360-364.

Smith AE, 1995. Handbook of weed management systems. New York, USA: Marcel Dekker Inc.

Stafford SK, Dimmick RW, 1979. Autumn and winter foods of ruffed grouse in southern Appalachians. Journal of Wildlife Management, 43(1):121-127.

Stevens OA, 1932. The number and weight of seeds produced by weeds. American Journal of Botany, 19:784-794.

Stopps GJ, White SN, Clements DR, Upadhyaya MK, 2011. The Biology of Canadian weeds 149 Rumex acetosella L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 91:1037-1052.

Tamayo C, Richardson MA, Diamond S, Skoda I, 2000. The chemistry and biological activity of herbs used in Flor-Essence (TM) herbal tonic and Essiac (TM). Phytotherapy Research, 14(1):1-14.

Tedford EC, Fortnum BA, 1988. Weed hosts of Meloidogyne arenaria and M. incognita common in tobacco fields in South Carolina. Annals of Applied Nematology, 2:102-105.

Treichler R, Stow RW, Nelson NL, 1946. Nutrient content of some winter foods of ruffed grouse. Journal of Wildlife Management, 10:12-17.

Tyler G, Ström L, 1995. Differing organic acid exudation pattern explains calcifuge and acidifuge behaviour of plants. Annals of Botany, 75(1):75-78.

USDA-ARS, 2013. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2013. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Val E del, Crawley MJ, 2004. Interspecific competition and tolerance to defoliation in four grassland species. Canadian Journal of Botany, 82(7):871-877.

Wagner WL, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press/Bishop Museum Press, 1919 pp.

Wang B, Qiu YL, 2006. Phylogenetic distribution and evolution of mycorrhizas in land plants. Mycorrhiza, 16(5):299-363.

Webb CJ, Sykes WR, Garnock-Jones PJ, 1988. Flora of New Zealand, Volume IV: Naturalised pteridophytes, gymnosperms, dicotyledons. Christchurch, New Zealand: Botany Division, DSIR, 1365 pp.

Wenzel WW, Bunkowski M, Puschenreiter M, Horak O, 2003. Rhizoshere characteristics of indigenously growing nickel hyperaccumulator and excluder plants on serpentine soils. Environmental Pollution, 123:131-138.

White SN, 2007. Spatial and temporal variability of vegetation in wild blueberry fields. Halifax, Canada: Dalhousie University, 167.

Zimmerman JK, Lechowicz MJ, 1982. Responses to moisture stress in male and female plants of Rumex acetosella L. Polygonaceae. Oecologia, 53:305-309.

Contributors

Top of page

11/10/13 Original text by:

David R Clements, Trinity Western University, 7600 Glover Road, Langley, British Columbia V2Y 1Y1, Canada

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map