USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

15. Polygonaceae, the Smartweed Family

2. Rumex L. -- Dock

2. Rumex crispus L. -- Sour dock, curled dock

Stout, erect, usually single-stemmed perennial mostly 5-10 dm tall, from a thick taproot. Leaves basal and cauline, the basal leaves large and long-petioled, often drying early, the stem leaves decreasing in size and shorter-petioled upward; blades elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, those of the basal leaves 10-30 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, conspicuously undulate-crisped, cuneate to rounded at the base. Panicle large, the branches erect to ascending, intermixed with some linear leaves; pedicels mostly 1.5-2X the length of the valves, swollen-jointed below the middle. Valves cordate-deltate to ovate-deltate, mostly 3-5 mm long and about as wide, entire to scarcely erose; tubercles usually 3 (or absent from 1 or 2 of the valves), often unequal, the largest 1/2 or more the length of the valve; achenes brown, 2-2.5 mm long. Jul--Sep. Wet meadows, shores, ditches and other low areas; common, weedy; (Intro. from Eurasia, now naturalized throughout the U.S. and s Can. and most of the world).
gif-Rumex Crispis
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Rumex crispus. Other species are often confused with this one. Correct identification requires close inspection of the winglike valves surrounding the achene.  

Previous Species -- Rumex altissimus Wood -- Pale dock
Return to Family -- Polygonaceae - The Smartweed Family
Next Species -- Rumex maritimus L. -- Golden dock

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 06:46:29 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww54]