Rumex (PROSEA Vegetables)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Rumex L.

Family: Polygonaceae

Major species and synonyms

Vernacular names


  • Sorrel (En)
  • Oseille, surelle (Fr)
  • Indonesia: daun suring, surengan.

R. acetosa :

  • Cambodia: slök mchuu
  • Vietnam: rau chua, rau bó xôi, toan thảo.

R. hydrolapathum :

  • Philippines: gabo.

R. vesicarius :

  • Thailand: phakbuak, sompukhaek (northern).


Worldwide, chiefly in northern temperate regions, sometimes cultivated. In South-East Asia wild plants are mostly escapes from cultivation.


The sour leaves and petioles are eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable, but their use is not very popular in South-East Asia.


  • Annual (R. vesicarius) or perennial, mostly very variable herbs, sometimes more than 2 m tall (R. sagittatus).
  • Leaves spirally arranged, the lower ones mostly in a radical rosette (except R. vesicarius), sheathing at base and provided with an amplexicaul ocrea.
  • Flowers in spurious whorls which are combined in racemes or panicles.
  • Fruit usually a sharply trigonous samara.

Can be cultivated in the tropics at higher altitudes in fertile soil. For good leaf production, the inflorescences should be removed.

Selected sources

7, 13, 44, 53, 57, 66.