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Rumex acetosa. Sorrel (sometimes "common sorrel," to distinguish it from a number of unrelated plants also known as "sorrel" of one kind or another) is a pleasantly lemony perennial herb, growing to a height of two or three feet (60 or 90 cm). It has smooth, fleshy and tender leaves, a long slender stalk and a spike of small reddish flowers.

Because of the mildly acidic taste, it quenches thirst, and may be helpful in boosting the appetite. The leaves are edible and may be added to salads to sharpen the taste. They are often pureed in soups and sauces. The plant contains oxalic acid[?] to produce its characteristic flavor, and so may be contraindicated in people with rheumatic-type complaints, kidney or bladder stones[?], and the like. It is also a laxative.

Classification: Sorrel is a member of the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae.

Sorrel is also used as a color of horses, possibly named after the color of the flower spike of the sorrel herb. It is known as a self color[?] (meaning all of a single color), ranging from reddish gold to deep burgundy. In a sorrel horse, the mane, tail and lower legs are the same color as the rest of the coat, with the exception of possible white markings below the knee or hock[?]. Sorrel is distinguished from palomino[?], for instance, by the fact that a palomino horse has a white mane and tail. It is distinguished from dun[?] by the fact that a dun horse has a darker mane and tail than the rest of its coat, may have bars[?] of darker color on the shoulder and forelegs, and also possesses a narrow, dark line down the middle of the back. A very dark sorrel and a very bright blood bay[?] may look similar except for the black mane, tail and lower legs on the bay. Some sorrel horses are referred to as chestnut and vice-versa, but chestnut, while also a reddish self color, is actually different from sorrel, being more brown in hue.

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