University of Maryland Extension

Red Sorrel (Sheep sorrel)

red or sheep sorrel

Photo: Red Sorrel, Rumex acetosella

(More lawn weeds)  (Control Options)  (General Weed Gallery)

General description: Sorrel, also called sheep sorrel is a perennial broadleaf weed. The leaves are 1-3 inches long and arrow-shaped.
Growth habit: Young plants form a rosette of foliage near the ground. Flowers are red or yellow and bloom on spikes.

Reproduction: Sorrel spreads by seed and rhizomes.
Conditions that favor growth: Found in neglected, infertile lawns. It is also an indication of acidic soil. 

-red sorrel

Management - lawns:

Cultural control: Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment.
Mechanical control: Hand pulling or using an appropriate weeding tool are the primary means of mechanical weed control in lawns. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. Hand pulling when the soil is moist makes the task easier. Weeds with tap roots like dandelions or have a basal rosette (leaves clustered close to the ground) like plantain are easier to pull than weeds such as Bermudagrass (wiregrass) or creeping Charlie (ground ivy) that spread with stolons or creeping stems that root along the ground.
General chemical control: 
Spot treat weeds with a liquid, selective, postemergent, broadleaf weed killer applied when weeds are actively growing. Look for a product with one or more of the following active ingredients:
2, 4-DMCPP (mecoprop), Dicamba (be careful when using around tree and shrub roots) or Triclopyr. 

Organic control: 

For a glossary of herbicide terms and additional information see: control options     

 


 

 

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