Acetosa scutata (L.) Mill.
Lapathum alpestre (Jacq.) Scop.
Lapathum scutatum (L.) Lam.
Rumex acetosa alpestris (Jacq.) Á.Löve
Rumex acmophorus Gand.
Rumex aetnensis C.Presl
Rumex alpestris Jacq.
Rumex bellojocensis Gand.
Rumex glaucus Jacq.
Rumex hastifolius M.Bieb.
Rumex pubescens K.Koch
Rumex subvirescens Gand.
Common Name: Buckler-Leaved Sorrel
Rumex scutatus is a perennial plant that can grow up to 60cm tall
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[
Central and southern Europe - Spain to Germany, east to Greece and Ukraine; E. Asia - Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, the Caucasus, Kazakhstan
Old walls and mountain pastures[
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A very easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils but preferring a moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position[
]. Prefers a rather dry soil[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
]. Plants often self-sow freely in the garden[
Buckler-leafed sorrel is occasionally cultivated for its edible leaves[
]. There are some named varieties that have been selected for their ornamental value[
Being wind -pollinated, Rumex species usually hybridize readily, especially with other members of the genus they are more closely related to[
A food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterfly[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. A delicious lemon-like flavour[
], most people find them overpowering if used in quantity, but they make a delightful addition to the salad bowl and can also be used as a pot-herb[
]. This species has less acid leaves and so is often preferred to sorrel (R, acetosa)[
]. The leaves should be used sparingly due to the oxalic acid content[
The leaves are antiscorbutic, astringent, diuretic, laxative and refrigerant[
]. They are rarely used as a specifically medicinal plant.
The cultivar 'Silver Shield' makes a good, if rampant, ground cover beside paths and at the front of borders[
Although no specific mention has been made for this species, dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots of many species in this genus, They do not need a mordant[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is rapid, the seedlings can be pricked out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and are planted out in early summer[
It should also be possible to sow the seed in situ in mid spring[
Division in spring. Division is easy at any time in the growing season, though the plants establish better in the spring[
]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.