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

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5818)

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Distribution of Oxyria digyna
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / 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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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) 300 1862 2659
Slope Gradient (%) 0 30 220
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 9 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number 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)


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

Rumex digyna L.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References