Page author: David Giblin
Rumex crispus
curly dock, sour dock

Distribution: Introduced and common in most of North America from the coast to inland mountains.

Habitat: Moist meadows.

Flowers: June - September

Origin: Introduced

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Erect perennial from a taproot, the stem 5-10 dm. tall, unbranched below the inflorescence.


Basal leaves with sheathing stipules and long petioles, the blade oblong-lanceolate, 1-3 dm. long and up to 5 cm. wide, rounded or wedge-shaped at the base; cauline leaves reduced upward; all leaves with irregularly curled margins.


Inflorescence a large, compact panicle, the branches nearly erect, leafy-bracteate to mid-length; pedicels slender, 1.5-2 times as long as the flowers, with a swollen joint well below mid-length; flowers perfect; outer 3 perianth segments ascending, 1.5 mm. long; inner 3 segments deltoid-ovate with a truncate base, 4-5 mm. long, usually with an oblong, veiny and pitted lump at the base; styles 3.


Achene 1.5-2 mm. long, smooth.

Accepted Name:
Rumex crispus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 335. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Lapathum crispum (L.) Scop.
Rumex crispus L. ssp. crispus [KZ99]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Rumex crispus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Rumex crispus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Rumex crispus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Rumex crispus photos.

USDA Plants: Rumex crispus information.

46 photographs:
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