Common Sorrel is a common, upright plant, often found in grasslands and along woodland edges and roadside verges. It has slender leaves and attractive flowers that appear in May and June, peppering the green grasses of our meadows with crimson and pink. Its numerous other common names, from 'Sour Ducks' to 'Vinegar Plant', all allude to the fact that its leaves taste extremely tart and dry due to their high levels of oxalic acid.
How to identify
Common Sorrel is a perennial with arrow-shaped leaves that grow from the stem at the base of the plant. Reddish flowers are carried on slender spikes.
Where to find it
When to find it
How can people help
Many of our so-called 'weeds' are beneficial to wildlife, providing food for nectar-loving insects and shelter for minibeasts. Try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of flowers in your lawn, Stinging Nettles near the compost heap and Common Sorrel in the vegetable patch, and see who comes to visit... To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.