Ontario Weeds: Broad-leaved dock
Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication
Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Broad-leaved dock, Rumex obtusifolius
Other Names: patience à feuilles obtuses, Bitter dock, Blunt-leaved dock, Red-veined dock, rumex à feuilles obtuses, rumex sanguin
Family: Buckwheat or Smartweed Family (Polygonaceae)
General Description: Perennial, reproducing only by seed. Very similar to Curled dock but cotyledons (seed leaves) 1/3 as wide as long.
Broad-leaved dock. Seedling in 3rd true-leaf stage. B. Lower portion of leafy stem. C. Young inflorescence. D. Single, 3-wnged "fruit".
Leaves: First few true leaves either
round in outline or with heart-shaped bases; rosette and stem leaves
broad with rounded or more usually heart-shaped bases; their margins
flat or somewhat wavy up and down but never strongly curled or wavy-margined;
veins green or somewhat reddish, prominent and somewhat white-hairy
on the undersurface; ocrea (membranous sheath) surrounding stem
above each node, up to 5 cm (2 in.) long, becoming brown and papery
Flowers & Fruit: Inflorescence similar to but thicker than Curled dock; the 3 wing-like inner sepals of each "fruit" with several irregular teeth along the margins, but only 1 of the 3 sepals bearing a prominent egg-shaped corky enlargement (tubercle) on its back. Flowers from June to July.
Habitat: Broad-leaved dock occurs in moist situations throughout southern Ontario but is seen only scarcely in the north and northwest. It occurs along streams, meadows, wet roadside ditches, moist waste areas, and in depressional areas in cultivated land.
Similar Species: It is distinguished from similar plants by its broad leaves with heart-shaped bases and the prominently toothed margins of the 3 wing-like sepals (valves) of the fruit, only 1 of which usually develops an enlarged, egg-shaped corky or fleshy tubercle on its outer surface.
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300