Weeds - Identification of Injurious Weeds (PB4192)

Rumex crispus

Mature plant

Young plant (Maggy Milner)

Rumex crispus

Curled Dock

A, part of stem with a leaf and lateral branch, and a lower main stem leaf; B, fruiting-perianth enclosing the fruit and transverse section of same showing seeds; C, plant and a rosette. Not to scale.

Young plant:

The seedlings are very similar to those of broad-leaved dock but the true leaves may have a more pointed tip. As with broad-leaved dock the plants can be regenerated from root fragments caused by soil disturbance or heavy treading by animals or humans.

Adult plant:

The leaves of curled dock are narrower and more elongated than those of broad-leaved dock, usually tapering to a point and with wavy undulating margins. Flowering is from late June onwards each year, when the plants can extend to 100cm or even 200cm in height. The flower and seed clusters differ from broad-leaved dock in that they are much more closely and densely arranged. The flowering stems die back after producing seeds.

The fruit lacks teeth on the wing, is oval/triangular in shape, usually with all 3 seeds swollen, although with one often larger than the others.

Other dock species not prescribed in the Weeds Act 1959:

Two other species commonly occur on waste land:

Wood dock Rumex sanguineus

has elongated oval and pointed leaves. The lower spike has only small basal leaves.

Clustered dock Rumex conglomeratus

the flower spike of this dock has a characteristic zig-zag structure and bears small leaves throughout.

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