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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

3. Rumex maritimus L. -- Golden dock

Stout, erect annual, freely branched upward and often from the base, 0.5-7 dm tall. Leaves mostly cauline, reduced in size upward, the blades oblong-lanceolate to oblong-linear, 5-20 cm long, 0.5-4 cm wide, the margins flat to sometimes undulate, cuneate to truncate or sometimes cordate at the base; petiole to as long as the blades on the lower leaves, shorter upward. Panicle rather open, the branches spreading-ascending, leafy, puberulent or papillose, the verticils of flowers conspicuously separated, especially in the lower part; pedicels jointed near the base, slightly to greatly exceeding the valves in length. Valves ovate, acuminate-tipped, 2-3 mm long, the margins deeply incised into (1)2-4 spinulose teeth which are 1-3(6) mm long; tubercles 3, linear-lanceolate, running about 1/2 the length to the acuminate tip of the valve; achenes light brown, 1-1.5 mm long. Jul--Sep. Marshes, shores, stream banks and ditches, where water is fresh to brackish; common; (Eurasia and most of N. and S.Amer.).

American plants differ slightly from Eurasian counterparts and are distinguished as var. fueginus (Phil.) Dusen.

GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Previous Species -- Rumex crispus L. -- Sour dock, curled dock
Return to Family -- Polygonaceae - The Smartweed Family
Next Species -- Rumex mexicanus Meisn. -- Mexican dock, willow-leaved dock

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