E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Rumex paucifolius Nutt.
alpine sorrel (alpine sheep sorrel)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Peter Courtney  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #74794)

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Distribution of Rumex paucifolius
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Species Information

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Perennial dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants) herb from a thick taproot and short, usually branched crown; stems erect, solitary to several, unbranched (below the inflorescence), 20-60 cm tall, smooth.
Basal leaf blades elliptic to egg-shaped, tapered at both ends, smooth, the blades 4-10 cm long, the stalks long; stem leaves alternate, usually 2-3, greatly reduced, becoming unstalked.
Inflorescence of numerous, unisexual flowers in a slender panicle; flower stalks jointed below midlength; perianths pale to deep red, the inner segments 3-4 mm long, entire, lacking grain-like swellings.
Achenes, smooth, about 1.5 mm long. vol4_3

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet forest openings and meadows in the subalpine and alpine zones; rare in SC BC; E to SW AB and S to CO and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Acetosa gracilescens (Rech. f.) A. Löve & Evenson
Rumex paucifolius subsp. paucifolius Nutt.
Rumex paucifolius var. gracilescens Rech. f.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References