Rumex acetosella

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPolygonaceaeRumexRumex acetosella


A rhizomatous perennial herb of dry heaths, non-calcareous sand dunes, shingle beaches and other short, open grasslands on acidic, impoverished, sandy or stony soils. It is sometimes found on outcrops of acidic rocks. 0-1050 m (Carnedd Llewelyn, Caerns.).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Wide-temperate element, but widely naturalised so that distribution is now Circumpolar Wide-temperate.

© Shannon, P

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 4

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1110

Height (cm): 30

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Clones formed by suckering from roots

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2743

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 865

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: -0.62

Weighted Changed Factor: -51

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (178b)
Atlas Supp (44a)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1979)
Lousley JE, Kent DH
1981.  Docks and knotweeds of the British Isles. Botanical Society of the British Isles Handbook no. 3.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
den Nijs JCM
1984.  Biosystematic studies of the Rumex acetosella complex (Polygonaceae). VIII. A taxonomic revision. Feddes Repertorium. 95:43-66.