Rumex acetosella is an indicator that the soil in the area is calcareous.
An erect plant branching at the top.
The male flowers are yellowish-green, the female flowers are pink-maroon, on separate plants.
Hastate spear-shaped leaf with horizontal lobes at base. Spear-shaped with horizontal lobes at the base.
Achene: a string of small dry 1-seeded fruit. The seed is 3 edged, glossy and brown, surrounded by valves, 1 mm across.
Young leaves have a tart taste, good to use as a garnish or in a mixed leaf salad. It curdles milk and can be substituted for rennet in cheese making.
Leaves: contain oxalic acid and should not be eaten in quantity.
Oxalic acid can combine with calcium, causing kidney stones to form in susceptible people.