Rumex crispus L.

Curly Dock

Names and Myths

Rumex The ancient name

 crispus with curled or wavy margins

Natural history / Folklore

Rich in vitamins A and C, but due to bitterness may need to be boiled in several changes of water. Leaves are eaten as greens and seeds are ground into flour, or used for hot cereal. Due to high oxalic acid content should be eaten in moderation.34

Rubbing the leaves  of dock on a fresh nettle sting is said to take the sting away.39 The plant is also used as a mild purgative, a blood-purifying tonic. The roots are used fresh or dried and prepared as a syrup, a decoction, salve or infusion.57

Reproduction is by seeds, a single plant may produce from 160 to 4,000 seeds which may either germinate immediately or remain in the seed bank for as long as 80 years.9 50% of seeds still germinate after 50 years, some still germinate after 80 years.45 Their roots can grow to 3 feet in rich soil.

Species List Family Group
Previous Study Next


June - September  terminal clusters of flowers which turn brown at maturity, Leaves with curled wavy edges.