Oxyria digyna (L.) Hill
mountain sorrel (alpine mountainsorrel)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Adolf Ceska     (Photo ID #5818)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Oxyria digyna
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a long, stout, fleshy taproot and branched crown; stems erect, few to numerous, 5-50 cm tall, smooth, often reddish-tinged, strongly acrid-juiced.
Basal leaves round to kidney-shaped, the margins slightly wavy, smooth, the blades 1-5 cm wide, the stalks 4-8 cm long; stem leaves similar, usually 1 or lacking; stipules sheathing, membranous, brownish or reddish, the sheaths loose, oblique.
Inflorescence of whorled flowers in a dense, narrow panicle-like raceme 5-15 cm long; perianths greenish or reddish, the segments 4, 1.5-2.5 mm long; stamens 6; sepals 4.
Achenes, lens-shaped, widely winged, 4-6 mm wide.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Oxyria digyna

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
1862 300 2659
Slope Gradient (%)
30 0 220

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

9 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(31), BAFA(64), BWBS(3), CMA(1), CWH(2), ESSF(91), IMA(13), MH(9), MS(1), SBS(2), SWB(12)

Habitat and Range

Moist rock outcrops, talus and scree slopes, streambanks and snowbed sites from the upper montane to alpine zones; common throughout BC, except rare on the Queen Charlotte Islands; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to NH, AZ, NM and CA; Iceland, Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Rumex digyna L.