The Mystery Herb

The Herb LadyUncategorized0 Comments

Rumex

RumexThere are two things I always do when I arrive at the greenhouse each week: check to see how last week’s plants are doing and then what new plug trays have been delivered. Last week, there was a mystery plug tray, “raspberry dressing rumex”.

Rumex? What’s rumex?

I’d never heard of it, so figured it must be a vegetable. But no, it’s clearly labelled as an herb.

First stop, Wikipedia, where I learned that “rumex” is the genus of docks and sorrels which Wikipedia classifies as herbs. I’ve always thought of sorrel as a vegetable but apparently I’m mistaken. So then I Googled “raspberry dressing rumex” and the mystery deepened.

I visited half a dozen nursery sites, all of whom disagreed on what exactly “raspberry dressing rumex” is. They did agree on the latin name: Rumex sanguineus which Wikipedia defines as a dock while the nursery sites defined it as a sorrel, a dock and in one case, a lettuce.

RumexWhat they could agree on is that it is an edible plant that can also be used as an ornamental. It is characterized by green leaves with bright red veins which grow to 6” to 10” tall. The plant is hardy through zone 6. It is recommended for use in salads.

Disagreement flaired up again about the taste. The flavor is variously described as lemony or tangy or similar in taste to raspberry vinaigrette, hence the name. I guess this is one of those plants that you will have to taste and decide for yourself.

Now I’m curious. I’m going to taste one of the leaves next week and see what it tastes like.

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