Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: French Sorrel, Buckler's Sorrel, Buckler-leaved Sorrel
Rumex scutatus

Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Rumex (ROO-meks) (Info)
Species: scutatus (skut-AY-tus) (Info)

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #1 of Rumex scutatus by Weezingreens

By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #2 of Rumex scutatus by Weezingreens

By pradamary
Thumbnail #3 of Rumex scutatus by pradamary

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Thumbnail #4 of Rumex scutatus by saya


5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive LadyJW On May 19, 2009, LadyJW from Seattle, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Great site! Just learning how it works. Sorrell is very tastey but can have harmful side effects for some. See below. I just downloaded some awesome recipes for sorrell if anyone in interested. (Soup, sauce and drinks-with or without RUM) ;)

Garden and French sorrel should be consumed in moderation, as both are high in oxalic acid, which can cause kidney stones in some individuals. If you are prone to hyperacidity, you probably should avoid sorrel as its high acidity may cause gastric upset. If you suffer from gout or kidney stones, or if you have a history of kidney disease, you should not consume sorrel. Some authorities have also recommended that people afflicted with arthritis or rheumatism should avoid eating sorrel.
Don't cook sorrel in cast iron pots as the oxalic acid in the leaves will react with the metal, and the leaves will have an unpleasant metallic taste. Also avoid using aluminum cookware, as the oxalic acid could free toxic amounts of aluminum ions. Use stainless steel utensils and cookware when preparing sorrel.
Avoid sorrel tea because of the oxalates and also because sorrel acts as a diuretic.

Positive rebecca101 On Oct 9, 2006, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Very tasty lemony leaves. It is considered invasive though so you probably want to grow it in a pot. Easy to grow.

Neutral pdkrones On Jul 24, 2006, pdkrones from Monroe, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I just did a search on this plant, before planting one. Some of the above comments concern common garden sorrel, or Rumex acetosus, which has large leaves and is a very big plant. The true scatutus species is a low-growing plant with smal, succulent leaves. Both are culinary, but the scutatus is the stronger-flavored one originally used in soups, etc.

Positive zsnp On Apr 28, 2005, zsnp from Pensacola, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

A very delicious meal can be made from sorrel leaves and eggs. When it's done, it looks like spinach, but tastes sweet. I don't have the recipe, but it's one of my favorite foods. I love this plant.

Positive PurplePansies On Jul 30, 2004, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very easy to grow..... my plants lasted for several years untill they peetered out..... will grow in partial shade..... appreciate not to dry out..... deadhead for better leaves....... great in soups....... or salads but most americans don't understand sorrel in the american palate for salads........ also a good herbal remedy for various things ....... the taste is very lemonly very acidic..... almost mouth puckering with a lettuce flavor of course........ a good all around spring tonic eaten or made into a tea....... easily I think grow from seed....... there are a few cultivars available.........

Positive Weezingreens On Sep 10, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

French sorrel likes our cool moist climate in South Central Alaska. It winters over well, and it affords wonderful bounty all summer long. Cream sorrel soup is quite tasty, and sorrel adds a touch of sour to salads, as well.

Neutral Lilith On Aug 10, 2001, Lilith from Durham
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

French Sorrel has green arrow leaves that emerge directly from the ground. The flower stalks can reach four feet high.

Plant in moist, reasonably fertile soil and provide fertilzer throughou the season. To maintain the leaves' flavor, remove flower stems as they emerge. At a minimum, remove the flower stalks before the seeds can ripen and scatter.

Leaves should not be eaten by those prone to kidney stones.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Seward, Alaska
Fallbrook, California
Los Angeles, California
Redwood City, California
San Jose, California
Santa Cruz, California
Vallejo, California
Pensacola, Florida
South Easton, Massachusetts
Avon, Minnesota
Tijeras, New Mexico
Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
Bremerton, Washington
Stanwood, Washington
Powell, Wyoming

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