Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Pale Dock (Rumex altissimus)
- Family: Smartweed (Polygonaceae)
- Flowering: April-May.
- Field Marks: This species has completely smooth stems and leaves, flat leaves, and the fruit with only one valve bearing a tubercle.
- Habitat: Along streams, around ponds and lakes, sloughs, fallow fields, damp thickets.
- Habit: Perennial herb with a taproot.
- Stems: Erect, branched, smooth, up to 6 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, broadly lanceolate to ovate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, without teeth, smooth, flat, up to 6 inches long, up to 2 1/2 inches broad.
- Flowers: Several in branched, spike-like racemes; each flower greenish, up to 1/6 inch long, borne on stalks up to 1/3 inch long.
- Sepals: 6, greenish, free from each other.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 6.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Achenes smooth, up to 1/4 inch long, bearing 3 veiny valves, only one with an elongated tubercle.
- Notes: The young parts of this species can be cooked and eaten. The achenes are eaten by wildlife.
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