Common sorrel is a herbaceous perennial weed that is part of the dock family of plants, it is often found in grassy areas such as fields and pastures. It is not usually a problem in managed turf, but it can be a nuisance on utility lawns that receive little maintenance, apart from the occasional cut. It is sometimes called the garden sorrel or narrow-leaved dock. Common sorrel has a deep, fibrous root system and it spreads by seed, if left untouched it can grow to nearly a metre tall.
The long, arrow shaped leaves are smooth and hairless, with basal lobes that point backwards. Late into the season the leaves often turn deep red.
Common sorrel produces hundreds of small flowers. Initially they are green, turning red later in the season. The flowering period is between May and June
Although it can grow on most soil types, it prefers soils with neutral to acid pH.
- Common sorrel can be hand weed, however, it is important to remove the whole root system.
- Correct the pH of the soil if necessary, as these weeds prefer acidic conditions. Note: seek advice before applying lime to turf to correct pH levels.
- Regular mowing will help discourage this weed, as well as removing the flowers before they have chance to seed.
Common sorrel can be controlled using a selective weed killer, however more than one application will most likely be required.