Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #22 Common Sorrel

Bradlaugh Fields Early May flowers 001

Growing in tufts of shiny dark-green leaves on the main grassland area you’ll find the common sorrel is just sending up the first red-green budding flower-spikes which look very much like a mini version of the dock plant, or their giant red-stemmed relative the rhubarb. As the summer progresses, the spikes elongate up to a couple of feet tall in the sorrel’s case, or up to six or seven feet high in rhubarb, before producing large, characteristic seed heads.

Bradlaugh Fields Rumex acetosa

The leaves are edible in small quantities, having an acid taste, and humankind has bred many varieties of sorrel for use in salads and sauces over the centuries.

The larvae of the small copper butterfly may also be found on common sorrel as it is one of the main larval food-plants according to UK Butterflies website.

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