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Rumex alpinus - L.

Common Name Alpine Dock, Munk's rhubarb
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 Along the banks of streams and by the sides of roads, it is also found near human habitations, in hilly areas[9].
Range C. and S. Europe to W. Asia. Naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Rumex alpinus Alpine Dock, Munk


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rumex_alpinus_Sturm57.jpg
Rumex alpinus Alpine Dock, Munk
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Selso

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Rumex alpinus is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked[1, 2, 5, 21, 22, 46, 183]. They can also be dried for later use[12]. A strong flavour, the leaves can be used in salads in late autumn to the spring, but are better cooked like spinach[K]. The fresh leaves can be available for most months of the year, only dying down for a short period in severe winters[K]. The leaves often become bitter in the summer[K]. In taste trials, this has proved to be a very popular autumn and spring cooked leaf, making an excellent spinach[K].

References   More on Edible Uses

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  Laxative

The root is astringent and laxative[4, 9]. It has a regulatory effect on the digestive system, similar to but weaker than rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum)[4]. It can act either as a laxative or a cure for diarrhoea according to dosage[4]. The root is harvested in early spring and dried for later use[4].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Dye

Dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots, they do not need a mordant[168].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A very easily grown and tolerant plant[K], it succeeds in most soils, preferring a moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Hardy to about -20°c[187]. Alpine dock was at one time cultivated for its edible leaves, though it has now fallen out of favour to be replaced by less strong-tasting plants[2, 200, K]. This is a pity because it is a very productive and useful vegetable and can produce its leaves all through the winter if the weather is not too severe[K]. A very important plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies[30].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown as soon as it is ripe when it will germinate rapidly and will provide edible leaves from early spring the following year. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Division is easy at almost any time of the year, though the plants establish more rapidly in the spring[K]. Use a sharp spade or knife to divide the rootstock, ensuring that there is at least one growth bud on each section of root. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

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 -  LMHSNM101
Rumex acetosaSorrel, Garden sorrelPerennial0.6 3-7  LMHSNM534
Rumex acetosellaSheeps Sorrel, Common sheep sorrelPerennial0.3 4-8 FLMHSNM431
Rumex angiocarpusCommon sheep sorrelPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHSNM101
Rumex aquaticusRed Dock, Western dockPerennial1.8 0-0  LMHSNWeWa131
Rumex arcticusArctic DockPerennial0.0 -  LMHSNWe211
Rumex arifoliusMaiden SorrelPerennial1.2 -  LMHSNM101
Rumex berlandieriamamastlaPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNM101
Rumex browniiSwamp DockPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNM201
Rumex bucephalophorusred dockAnnual/Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNDM101
Rumex conglomeratusSharp Dock, Clustered dockPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHSNM121
Rumex crispusCurled Dock, Curly dockPerennial0.6 4-8  LMHSNM232
Rumex daiwoosour dockPerennial1.0 -  LMHSNMWe121
Rumex dentatustoothed dockAnnual/Biennial0.6 -  LMHSNM111
Rumex gmelinii Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNMWe101
Rumex graminifoliusGrassleaf sorrelPerennial0.1 0-0  LMHSNM101
Rumex hastatus Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNDM221
Rumex hydrolapathumGreat Water DockPerennial1.8 5-9  LMHSNMWeWa111
Rumex hymenosepalusCanaigre, Canaigre dockPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHSNM221
Rumex japonicus Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNM201
Rumex longifoliusdooryard dockPerennial1.2 -  LMHSNM111
Rumex maritimusGolden DockAnnual0.5 -  LMHSNMWe121
Rumex mexicanusMexican DockPerennial1.0 -  LMHSNM121
Rumex nepalensis Perennial1.2 -  LMHSNM121
Rumex obtusifoliusRound-Leaved Dock, Bitter dockPerennial1.0 4-8  LMHSNM123
Rumex occidentalisWestern DockPerennial1.8 -  LMHSNM111
Rumex patientiaHerb PatiencePerennial1.5 5-10  LMHSNM311
Rumex paucifoliusFewleaved Dock, Alpine sheep sorrelPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHSNMWe101
Rumex pulcherFiddle DockPerennial0.5 -  LMHSNDM101
12

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Botanical References

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