If you are following the advice from the Group members who’ve hosted recent events this summer about dealing with weeds in your grassland before you even consider any enhancement work it’s good to make sure you know how to tell sorrel from dock
They can look very similar when only the flowers are visible in a hay meadow and it’s a shame to rogue any existing sorrel by mistake. To get your eye in probably best to look at the leaves. At a glance, the sorrels have noticeably arrow-shaped leaves. Their leaves are smaller and more narrow than most other docks. Common sorrel will be found with downward-pointing basal lobes and a notable white mid-vein. Sorrel also tends to flower earlier than dock from May /June and so by now all that remains may just be the red flowering stems with the leaves clasping around the stem. Click here for Photos of the flowers
Common sorrel ( above ) has arrow-shaped leaves and downward pointing lobes
Sheep sorrel’s leaves have distinctive side lobes and is more common in grazed pastures than in meadows
Good ID guides ( Francis Rose – the Wild Flower Key and Collins Flower Guide by Streeter, Hart Davies et al) have drawings to show you the arrangement of leaves, flowering stems and the seeds of sorrel and broad leaved, clustered and other dock.