A slender plant with leaves 1/2 to 3/4 inch long and arrowhead shaped, it grows best in pastures and drier soils, unlike French Sorrel that needs regular moisture. With cooler weather the plant is tinged with a red coloring. The flowers are yellow-orange for the male and red-orange for the females on long stalks and produce very small triangular seed pods.
Sheep Sorrel is known by several names - Field Sorrel, Red Weed, Sour Dock and Dog-Eared Sorrel. It is smaller than French Sorrel and a bit less pungent.
Brought to the US by early European settlers it is perennial in most climates.
The leaves are commonly eaten in salads and are rather succulent but not thick and are noticeably lop-sided. Excellent on sandwiches, in salads or just to munch on. Leaves shrink tremendously in cooking, so gather much more than you think is needed.
It is high in anti-oxidants and also acts as an antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic. Early studies show anti-tumor properties as well, with research on-going. Sorrel has traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis and its many vitamins and minerals help with fatigue and muscle aches.