Return to the Weeds Forum | Post a Follow-Up

2 questions (sorrell & milky weeds)

Posted by weeddummie australia (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 4, 05 at 2:54

I just discovered I have sheep sorrell (Rumex acetosella) on my garden bed.

My mulch is thinning out, and before I work on topping it up, I'd like to know how to remove this completely. I have already pulled out the largest sorrell plant, and pulled out most of the seedlings that have clumped in various places as deep as I could. Is it feasible to diligently wait for any new rhizomes/seeds and pull them out constantly until I hope to get all of it?

Another questions most plants with milky insides likely to be weed? It's a silly question I suppose...but I've gone through several weeds that have white liquid in their stalk/leaves, and was wondering what it does?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 2 questions (sorrell & milky weeds)


I don't have the same species of Rumex as you do, but if your adult weeds have a deep tap root like the ones in my garden, simple pulling probably won't suffice, (unless you continue to pull as soon as you see any green; the roots will eventually be depleted of nutrients). A better strategy might be to pull initially and then hit the new growth with Round-up before it can contribute to additional root storage.

The milky substance in plants is often toxic or irritating to some degree, e.g. Euphorbias, Asclepias and various plants in the family Apocynaceae. Some insects are immune to this "latex" and can actually attain some of the toxic properties to protect themselves against predators. Be sure to wash your hands if you get any of this material on yourself and be careful not to touch your eyes, mouth, etc.


RE: 2 questions (sorrell & milky weeds)

Sheep Sorrel is one of the ingredients of "Essiac Tea" which is used to fight cancer among those who follow Indian Medicine.

You may have a market for it.

Google essiac tea or go to and read about essiac tea.

RE: 2 questions (sorrell & milky weeds)

Rumex acetosella is not tap-rooted but rhizomatous. I find it pulls fairly easily in loose soil, but you need to do more than pull the tops. Loosening the soil with a weeding tool will help you remove a lot of the roots.

RE: 2 questions (sorrell & milky weeds)

Sheep Sorrel spreads through very long root systems with new plants growing every couple of inches and part of the root grows deeply into the soil. Once established in the garden it is difficult to eradicate even with plant poisons. I have, very carefully, pulled out root systems 12 feet long with many branches and had to dig down 3 feet sometimes to get as much of the "tap" root as possible. Diligence is the only cure for Sheep Sorrel, unless you like the peppery taste of this plant. It does make a good addition to a salad although you might not want to add a lot.

RE: 2 questions (sorrell & milky weeds)

Lettuce also has milky sap and sends up a tall shoot with small flowers. You could be seeing mature lettuce plants

RE: 2 questions (sorrell & milky weeds)

If i was to send you a tube and postage you think I could have some of the Sheep Sorrel.

RE: 2 questions (sorrell & milky weeds)

Sheep sorrel usually indicates 'sour' or acid soil. Sometimes just putting down lime will get rid of it.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Weeds Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here