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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

15. Polygonaceae, the Smartweed Family

2. Rumex L. -- Dock

1. Rumex altissimus Wood -- Pale dock

Quite similar to R. mexicanus, 3-10 dm tall, usually branched from the base and with short branches or axillary clusters of leaves above. Leaf blades ovate-lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, 6-18 cm long, 1.5-5.5 cm wide, mostly not more than 4X longer than broad, flat to slightly undulate-crisped along the margin, acute to acuminate at the tip, cuneate to obtuse or rounded at the base. Panicles 1-3 dm long, the branches erect to ascending, rather few; pedicels shorter than to about equaling the length of the valves, swollen-jointed near the base. Valves triangular to rotund-ovate, 4-5(6) mm long, about as wide, bluntly acute or obtuse at the tip, entire or erose-margined, truncate to subcordate at the base; tubercle well-developed usually on only 1 of the 3 valves, although sometimes present on none or all 3 of the valves, mostly 1/2 - 2/3 the length of the valve; achenes brown, 2.3-3 mm long. Jun--Aug. Wet meadows, marshes, shores, stream banks, ditches and other wet places; occasional; e, c and s SD, se WY and NE; (NH to MN and WY, s to GA, TX and AZ).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Previous Species -- Polygonum sagittatum L.-- Tear-thumb, arrow-vine
Return to Family -- Polygonaceae - The Smartweed Family
Next Species -- Rumex crispus L. -- Sour dock, curled dock

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