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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

4. Rumex mexicanus Meisn. -- Mexican dock, willow-leaved dock

Perennial from a stout taproot, 2-8 dm tall, usually branched and spreading from the base, also with short branches or axillary clusters of leaves above, rather leafy throughout except in the panicles. Leaves mostly cauline, not greatly reduced upward, the blades linear-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 5-16 cm long, 0.8-2.5(4) cm wide, mostly more than 4X longer than broad, flat to slightly undulate, acute to acuminate at the tip, cuneate to slightly rounded at the base; petioles short, mostly 1-3 cm long, the leaves becoming subsessile upward. Panicles 1-3 dm long, leafy-bracteate only in the lower part, the branches ascending to divergent; pedicels shorter than to 1.5X the length of the valves, swollen-jointed near the base. Valves triangular, 3-5(6) mm long, 3-4 mm wide, entire to shallowly sinuate-dentate; tubercles absent or present on 1, 2 or all 3 of the valves, 1/2 to 2/3 as long as the valve; achenes brown, ca. 2 mm long. Jun--Aug. Wet meadows, marshes, ditches, shores, stream banks and other low areas, often where water is brackish; common; (Que. to AK, s to PA, KY, TX, CA and into Mex.; intro. in w Europe). R. salicifolius Weinm.
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Previous Species -- Rumex maritimus L. -- Golden dock
Return to Family -- Polygonaceae - The Smartweed Family
Next Species -- Rumex occidentalis S. Wats. -- Western dock

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