Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Rumex acetosella
L., Polygonaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  yes

Other Latin names:  Acetosella vulgaris Fourr.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: xiao suan mo

English: common sheep sorrel, field sorrel, red sorrel, sheep sorrel, small sorrel, sorrel

French: oseille, oseille de brebis, oseille sauvage, petite oseille, sûrette, vinette sauvage

Japanese: himesuiba

Spanish: acedera, acedera menor, acederilla, cizaña, hierba de cristo, hierba roja, lengua de vaca, pactilla, romacilla, romacilla aceitosa, sangre de toro, vinagrerita, vinagrillo

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Slender perennial herbs from a short, somewhat woody rhizome, foliage with a strong sour taste; stems erect, 2-5 dm long.  Leaves primarily basal, lanceolate to oblong, 3-6 (-10) cm long, 1-2 cm wide, glabrous or nearly so, apex acute to obtuse, base narrowly hastate, sometimes some leaves without lobes and base cuneate, petioles 2-5 cm long.  Flowers unisexual (and the plants dioecious), in reddish, branched, racemose inflorescences; tepals ca. 1-1.2 mm long, the valves not enlarging in fruit.  Nuts purplish brown, ca. 1.2-1.5 mm long, the surface glossy, the valves readily separating from the nut"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1066).

"Herbacée pérenne, reconnaissable à ses feuilles épaisses en forme de fer de lance, ses longues inflorescences dressés à petites fleurs rougeâtres et ses infrutescences de petits fruits triangulaires munis de trois petites ailes"  (Meyer, 2008; p. 34).

Habitat/ecology:  "Grass- and heathland, seasonal freshwater wetlands, coastal beaches, rock outcrops.  A highly variable species with four subspecies in Europe.  It grows in forest gaps, bogs, grass- and heathland, mostly on dry sandy or loamy soils.  It forms large stands by vegetative growth, and individual clones may last for decades or longer.  The rosettes may cover large areas within a short time and shade out native species.  The plant is shade intolerant and establishment of seedlings occurs in disturbed sites"  (Weber, 2003; p. 374).

In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in disturbed mesic forest and subalpine woodland, especially in pastures and along roadsides" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1066). In New Zealand, "especially in open situations on poor, light, stony or sandy soils from sea level to c. 1500 m, also in riverbeds, poor pastures, pavement cracks, gutters and cultivated ground" (Webb et al., 1988; p. 982).

Propagation:  "Seeds are dispersed by wind, water, and by attaching to animals.  Fragments of roots easily grow to new plants"  (Weber, 2003; p. 374).

Native range:  Eurasia (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1066).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island (Isla de Pasqua) introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2008) (pp. 34, 43)
"Non citée par Zizka (1991), elle a été observée « en une seule station dans le vallon sous le Rano Aroi » (Batud, 2005, Lefeuvre et al., 2005; page 44)" (Meyer, 2008; p. 34).
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
Skottsberg, Carl (1953) (p. 216)
Very abundant in the barren parts, also seen on some of the high ridges.
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 557)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
Skottsberg, Carl (1953) (p. 216)
Very abundant on the upper plains and hills, frequent in the alpine region f. i. on Las Torres, 1370 m.
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 557)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1066)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1066)
Voucher cited: Heller 2767 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1066)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Hafliger, Toni J./Wolf, Matthias (1988) (p. 303)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 121)
Introduced and thoroughly naturalized at Pauai, altitude about 2,400 m.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 683)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 683)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 683)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 683)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Hilly grasslands, forest margins, moist valleys; 400-3200 m".
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 683)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 690)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 683)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 314)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 683)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 683)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 181)
North Korea
North Korea
North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 982)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 683)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Washington) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
Subsp. pyrenaicus (Pourr. ex Lapeyr.) Akeroyd.; "Naturalisé/±envahissant"
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Canada (except British Colombia)
Canada
Canada (country) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Control: 

Physical:  Cutting or mowing results in quick replacement of new shoots.  Seedlings and small patches can be dug out; the crowns and roots must be removed"

Chemical:  "Larger stands can be treated with herbicide, or cut and the regrowth treated chemically"  (Weber, 2003; p. 374).

"La lutte manuelle par arrachage des plants associée à un traitement chimique par pulvérisation d’un herbicide à base de glyphosate sur les rosettes des feuilles sont réalisables mais délicats par la présence de zones humides" (Meyer, 2008; p. 34).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 28 FEB 2006 and was last updated on 20 JAN 2011.