Acetosella vulgaris Fourr.

Sheep Sorrel

Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon, ser. 2, 17: 145 (1869) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Slender rhizomatous herb, often reddish tinged, to c. 50 cm high, with erect, usually few-branched stems. Leaves mostly basal, lamina narrowly ovate to obovate, 2–6 cm long, 5–15 mm wide, hastate at base with lobes narrow and usually widely diverging to c. 2 cm long, or the upper stem leaves sometimes entire and linear. Inflorescence a narrow panicle with more or less erect branches, rarely unbranched and spike-like; perianth green to deep reddish-purple; flowers shortly pedicellate; males with segments oblong to elliptic, 1.5–2.5 mm long, the inner 3 broader than outer; female flowers initially c. 0.5–1 mm long, the inner 3 segments rapidly enlarging to c. 1.5 mm long at maturity. Nut ovate, acute, 1–1.5 mm long, smooth and shining but remaining enclosed within the adherent inner perianth segments. Flowers Sep.–Nov.

*Brid, *CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HFE, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MonT, *MuF, *MuM, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *SnM, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *WPro, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Native to Europe. Widespread throughout the state except the northern plains and north-west. Common on agricultural land, roadsides, other disturbed sites, and in open situations in native grassland and open shrublands, particularly following grazing by sheep or cattle.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Polygonaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-03-29
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
family Polygonaceae
genus Acetosella
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Acetosella vulgaris in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Acetosella vulgaris in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Bridgewater present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Wilsons Promontory present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised
Monaro Tablelands present naturalised
Highlands-Far East present naturalised
Victorian Alps present naturalised
Snowy Mountains present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory