Dock, Curly - Rumex crispus

Family: Buckwheat (Polygonaceae) - Non-Native


Behind church on right side (N35D33'00.077 X W105D41'20.357)

Flowers first observed: Not allowed to flower in 2017

The Plant


"Native to Eurasia and northern Africa; naturalized throughout the world; throughout N. Amer. and in every state in the US.  Notes: A tall biennial or perennial, which does not produce shoots from the leaf axils; distinguished by the leaves which are crinkled or -crisped- along the edges, hence the species- name; the inner tepals, seen as 3 wings on the fruits are smaller, 4-6 mm, have edges that are mostly without teeth, and have drops of hard tissue in the middle termed -collosities.- There are currently 2 varieties recognized as occurring in the United States: R. crispus var crispus and R. crispus var. fauriei. Only R. crispus var. crispus occurs in Arizona. Host plant for Purplish Copper butterfly." (SEINet)


"The plant produces an inflorescence or flower stalk that grows to about 1 m high. It has smooth leaves shooting off from a large basal rosette, with distinctive waved or curled edges. On the stalk flowers and seeds are produced in clusters on branched stems, with the largest cluster being found at the apex. The seeds are shiny, brown and encased in the calyx of the flower that produced them. This casing enables the seeds to float on water and get caught in wool and animal fur, and this helps the seeds to spread to new locations.[3] The root-structure is a large, yellow, forking taproot." (Wikipedia)

Ethnobotanical Uses


"Cherokee Vegetable Leaves and stems mixed with other greens, parboiled, rinsed and cooked in hot grease as a potherb. --- Montana Indian Unspecified Seeds used as food." (Moerman 497)


"Plant is used by many tribes medicinally. Common uses are root or seed poultices for swelling and skin irritations. Considered a liver stimulant and blood purifier. Some tribes make tea to purify blood or treat urinary problems. Tea salve is made for skin problems. Slow root tea is used to treat diarrhea, stimulate appetite, and for intestinal cold. Tea is also made into a wash for face, hands and clothing as love medicine. Seeds, greens and stems are consumed by many tribes. Pima, Cheyenne, and Choctaw also make yellow dye from roots." (SEINet)

Other Uses:

"Cheyenne Unspecified Used to make a dye. Yellow Leaves and stems boiled and used as a yellow dye. Choctaw Pima Yellow Roots pounded, boiled and used to make a yellow dye." (Moerman 497)

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