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Sheep’s Sorrel by Heather

When we were on our wander around Woodford Church graveyard, there was an area which was being left wild, to encourage bees and butterflies.  As we moved round this Rachel pointed out a tall pink coloured plant, none of us were sure what it was, fortunately Ness has a plant identification app, so when she had signal, let us know that the plant was sorrel, there are several plants known as that, this one was Sheep’s Sorrel.

Since then, on my wanderings round my local patch, this plant has been appearing and waving to me, where I had not seen it before.  I got the message, creating this blog of the information I found.

Latin name - Rumex acetosella

Common names - red sorrel, sheep's sorrel, field sorrel and sour weed

It is a relative of buckwheat and is native to Europe.  Rumex acetosella is a perennial herb which spreads via rhizomes. It has a slender and reddish, upright stem that is branched at the top, with small arrow-shaped leaves with pointed lobes at the base.   It blooms during March to November, when male yellowish-green or female reddish flowers develop on separate plants at the top of the stem, finally developing into the red fruits called achenes.  It is commonly found on acidic, sandy soils in heaths and grassland, and is often one of the first species to take hold in wasteland areas.

The plant is edible in moderation, being used as a garnish, a tart flavouring agent, in a salad green, or as a curdling agent for milk in cheese-making.

Magical properties –

Use in spells, poppets, pouches and incense for healing, health, protection, prosperity, cleansing, luck, abundance.


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