SEARCH AND WILDFLOWER HOME PAGE     BROWN/GREEN FLOWERS     CONTACT US



Rumex crispus
Rumex crispus (Curly Dock)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Foothills, montane. Disturbed areas, meadows, roadsides. Spring, summer, fall.
Near Roaring Fork Road, July 28, 2015.

The stems of Rumex crispus grow from a foot to 5 feet tall and the inflorescence adds about half of the stem height. The plants pictured are 80 inches tall.

Rumex crispus

Rumex crispus (Curly Dock)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Foothills, montane. Disturbed areas, meadows, roadsides. Spring, summer, fall.
Near Roaring Fork Road, July 28, 2015.

Basal leaves of Rumex crispus are commonly, as shown here, larger than stem leaves and it is common for upper stem leaves to be smaller, especially narrower, than lower stem leaves.

As noted in the details about other Rumex shown on this web site, early leaves of this and related Rumex species are palatable as a potherb, giving rise to the "Wild Rhubarb" common name. Some research shows, however, that these plants are toxic. Leaves persist through the summer and toughen with age. (See Oxyria digyna.)

The genus Rumex and this species were named by Linnaeus in 1753 from Eurasian collections. The plant is not native to the United States, but, as the map below indicates, it is now found in almost every U.S. county.

"Rumex" is the classical Latin name for the plant and "crispus" is Latin for "curled", referring to the curled, wavy edges of the leaves.

Rumex crispus

Rumex crispus (Curly Dock)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Foothills, montane. Disturbed areas, meadows, roadsides. Spring, summer, fall.
Near Roaring Fork Road, July 28, 2015.

Flowers are borne in panicles (branching racemes) in massive numbers. These green flowers will mature into rusty brown seeds.

Rumex crispus

       Rumex crispus

Rumex crispus (Curly Dock)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Foothills, montane. Disturbed areas, meadows, roadsides. Spring, summer, fall.
Near Roaring Fork Road, July 28, 2015.

Flowers are typical of the Rumex genus: three inner and three outer petal-like structures (tepals), the inner ones often with a raised swelling (tubercle). Click to see more photographs.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Rumex crispus

Range map for  Rumex crispus