Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Rumex crispus
curly dock, sour dock

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Meadows, fields, roadsides, wastelots, and other disturbed, open areas.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


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.

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.

OregonFlora: Rumex crispus information.

E-Flora BC: Rumex crispus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Rumex crispus photos.

USDA Plants: Rumex crispus information.

57 photographs:
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