Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Swamp Dock (Rumex verticillatus)
- Family: Smartweed (Polygonaceae)
- Flowering: April-June.
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by the stalks of the fruit which are at least twice as long as the fruits and by each valve of the fruit bearing one tubercle.
- Habitat: Swamps, sloughs, wet woods, sometimes in shallow standing water.
- Habit: Perennial herb with a taproot.
- Stems: Erect, usually unbranched, smooth, up to 3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, lanceolate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, without teeth, smooth, up to 6 inches long.
- Flowers: Several in whorls, each flower greenish, up to 1/8 inch long, borne in slender stalks up to 3/4 inch long, the stamens and pistils often in separate flowers on the same plant.
- 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, each valve with an elongated tubercle.
- Notes: The fruits are eaten by waterfowl.
Previous Species -- Great Water Dock (Rumex orbiculatus)
Return to Species List -- Group 8
Next Species -- Pennsylvania Saxifrage (Saxifraga pensylvanica)