Ontario Weeds: Curled dock
Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Curled dock, Rumex
Other Names: patience crépue,
Curly dock, Narrow-leaved dock, Sour dock, Yellow dock, patience,
Family: Buckwheat Or Smartweed Family
General Description: Perennial, spreading
only by seed.
Photos and Pictures
Curled dock. A. Seedling in cotyledon stage. B. Seedling in
4th ltue-leaf stage. C. Rosette. D. Base of mature plant. E. Inflorescence.
F. Single, 3-winged "fruit".
Stems & Roots: Stems erect, 1
m (40 in.) or taller, from a thick, yellowish, deeply penetrating,
simple or branching taproot
Leaves: Leaf shape variable: cotyledons
(first 2 seed leaves) very narrow, dull green and mealy-surfaced;
first true leaves roundish in outline; rosette leaves long, 10-30cm
(4-12in.) or longer, narrow, with rounded or tapered bases, very
wavy-margined, curled or "crisped," sour-tasting; stem
leaves alternate (1 per node), similar but smaller upwards, base
of each leaf-stalk flattened, expanded and somewhat encircling the
stem at the node, and with a prominent ocrea (membranous sheath)
up to 5 cm (2in.) long which becomes brown and papery with age;
the lower stem leaves dying as the plant matures.
Flowers & Fruit: Flowers small,
greenish clustered in whorls around the branches of the terminal
inflorescence, becoming at maturity a thick branched mass of light
brown to dark brown "fruits"; each fruit with 3 tiny sepals
and 3 large, wing-like, smooth-margined, papery sepals or "valves",
with 1 prominent, egg-shaped, corky bump (tubercle or "grain")
on the back of each of the 3 large sepals, and enclosing a small,
shiny, reddish-brown fruit ("seed") which is triangular
in cross-section, pointed at both ends and about 2mm (1/12in.) long.
Flowers from June to July.
Habitat: Curled dock is a common weed
of moist situations such as meadows, low pastures, riversides, roadsides,
depressions in cultivated fields, and occasionally on sandy uplands
Similar Species: It is distinguished
from similar plants by its long, narrow leaves with curled and wavy
margins, the base of the leaf blades being rounded or narrowed towards
the leafstalks, and the 3 wing-like sepals (valves) of the fruit
with relatively smooth margins (no teeth) and each one bearing an
enlarged corky tubercle.
... on general Weed
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA
Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA
Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control
to the Ontario Weeds Gallery |