Scientific Name: Rumex crispus

Common Name: curly dock

Other Common Names: curly dock, narrowleaf dock, sour dock, yellow dock, dock

Habit: This taprooted perennial begins germinating in late spring, continuing into fall if conditions permit. The plant then emerges in midspring, flowering from April through July.

Leaves: The plant produces a basal rosette of hairless leaves that are dark green with wavy margins. The alternate stem leaves are surrounded by a membranous sheath (ocrea), and are both smaller in size in number than the basal leaves.

Identifying Characteristics: This plant can be differentiated from the broadleaf dock by its wavy narrow leaves.

Flower Seed Head: Flowers occur in clusters 15 to 60 cm long on an elongated stem. The flowers are made up of greenish sepals that turn reddish brown as it matures.

Seed Fruit: The seeds are contained in a 2 mm long triangular, glossy brown achene. Achenes are found inside a triangular calyx, with papery structures surrounding it, allowing it to float on water.

Where Found: This plant prefers moist soil, and can be found in standing water, or areas that are frequently over watered. They can be found growing in low-lying meadows or pastures, orchards, and along drainage ditches.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Polygonaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rosette

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval; round

  • Leaf margin: wavy

  • Ochrea: Present

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: red; green

  • Growth habit: prostrate and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Root structure: taproot; fibrous

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Leaf stalk: none