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Rumex obtusifolius - L.

Common Name Round-Leaved Dock, Bitter dock
Family Polygonaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[238].
Habitats Waste ground, hedgerows and field margins[17]. A common weed of cultivated land on acid or calcareous soils[12].
Range Western Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, Germany and Hungary.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Rumex obtusifolius Round-Leaved Dock, Bitter dock


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rumex_obtusifolius_Sturm48.jpg
Rumex obtusifolius Round-Leaved Dock, Bitter dock
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Rumex obtusifolius is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Acetosa oblongifolia (L.) A. Löve & D. Löve. Rumex obtusifolius L. ssp. sylvestris

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Meadow; Hedgerow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Seed  Stem
Edible Uses:

Young leaves - cooked[8, 22, 46, 61]. A bitter taste, especially if the older leaves are used[105, 183]. The leaves are usually cooked in at least one change of water in order to reduce the bitterness[183]. Leaves can also be dried for later use[12]. The leaves have a much milder flavour when they are first produced in early spring[K]. Young stems - cooked[257]. Seed - raw or cooked[102, 172]. The seed can also be ground into a powder and used to make a gruel or added to cereal flours when making bread etc[102]. It is rather small and fiddly to harvest.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent  Blood purifier  Contraceptive  Salve

The leaves are often applied externally as a rustic remedy in the treatment of blisters, burns and scalds[4, 14]. The root contains tannin and is astringent and blood purifier[257]. A tea made from the roots has been used in the treatment of jaundice, whooping cough, boils and bleeding[4, 257]. An infusion of the root has been used as a wash, especially for children, to treat skin eruptions[257]. One report says that the root has been used as a contraceptive to stop menstruation[257]. The root is harvested in early spring and dried for later use[4].

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Other Uses

Dye

Yellow, dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots of this plant[14, 168]. They do not need a mordant[168].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

Cultivation details

Requires a good soil[4]. Plants are occasionally cultivated for their edible leaves[61]. A very important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterfly[30]. This species is an alternative host of the turnip fly[4].

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in situ. Division in spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Rumex abyssinicusSpinach RhubarbPerennial3.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Rumex acetosaSorrel, Garden sorrelPerennial0.6 3-7  LMHSNM533
Rumex acetosellaSheeps Sorrel, Common sheep sorrelPerennial0.3 4-8 FLMHSNM431
Rumex alpinusAlpine Dock, Munk's rhubarbPerennial1.2 4-8 MLMHSNM42 
Rumex angiocarpusCommon sheep sorrelPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHSNM10 
Rumex aquaticusRed Dock, Western dockPerennial1.8 0-0  LMHSNWeWa13 
Rumex arcticusArctic DockPerennial0.0 -  LMHSNWe21 
Rumex arifoliusMaiden SorrelPerennial1.2 -  LMHSNM10 
Rumex berlandieriamamastlaPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNM10 
Rumex browniiSwamp DockPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNM20 
Rumex bucephalophorusred dockAnnual/Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNDM10 
Rumex conglomeratusSharp Dock, Clustered dockPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHSNM12 
Rumex crispusCurled Dock, Curly dockPerennial0.6 4-8  LMHSNM230
Rumex daiwoosour dockPerennial1.0 -  LMHSNMWe12 
Rumex dentatustoothed dockAnnual/Biennial0.6 -  LMHSNM11 
Rumex gmelinii Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNMWe10 
Rumex graminifoliusGrassleaf sorrelPerennial0.1 0-0  LMHSNM10 
Rumex hastatus Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNDM22 
Rumex hydrolapathumGreat Water DockPerennial1.8 5-9  LMHSNMWeWa11 
Rumex hymenosepalusCanaigre, Canaigre dockPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHSNM22 
Rumex japonicus Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNM20 
Rumex longifoliusdooryard dockPerennial1.2 -  LMHSNM11 
Rumex maritimusGolden DockAnnual0.5 -  LMHSNMWe12 
Rumex mexicanusMexican DockPerennial1.0 -  LMHSNM12 
Rumex nepalensis Perennial1.2 -  LMHSNM12 
Rumex occidentalisWestern DockPerennial1.8 -  LMHSNM11 
Rumex patientiaHerb PatiencePerennial1.5 5-10  LMHSNM310
Rumex paucifoliusFewleaved Dock, Alpine sheep sorrelPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHSNMWe10 
Rumex pulcherFiddle DockPerennial0.5 -  LMHSNDM10 
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