Rumex crispus

Rumex elongatus, curly dock, yellow dock, curled dock, sour dock, bitter dock, narrow dock, dock root, garden patience

Description:  herbaceous perennial; grows up to 5 feet tall;  leaves grow up to a foot long and 2 inches wide in a rosette and have wavy, crumpled edges. It produces a tall flower stalk in June-July with tiny green flowers, which turn brown as they transform into fruits. 

Place of origin: Europe

Urban habitat:  Thrives in moist soils in full sun but can tolerate other conditions; often found in vacant lots, disturbed landscapes, along roadsides and railroads.

Ecological function:   disturbance-adapted colonizer; food for wildlife.

History:  Rumex crispus arrived in North America from Europe soon after colonization in the late 1600’s and is now found throughout the world. The root has a long history of medicinal use in Europe and was used widely by Native American tribes.