Curly Dock

Rumex crispus

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along Sycamore Creek, e. Maricopa Co., Arizona. March 2008.

PERENNIAL HERB: Robust herbaceous plant regrowing year after year from underground tubers. Plants may reach 1½ meters tall and often grow in extensive clumps.

LEAVES: The margins of the large leaves are wavy contrary to the plain of the leaf.

RANGE: This is an introduced weed from Eurasia and is most often encountered around agricultural fields. Also found across most of North America.

FRUIT: Dry single-seeded capsules with three conspicuous reddish-brown wings.

FLOWERS: Green flowers quickly followed by developing wings on the fruit. Hundreds of flowers and fruits on an upright, branching stalk.

UNARMED. No thorns or spines, however, the leaves contain oxalic acid. Once injested the chemical crystalizes within the kidneys producing sharp, lacerating crystals that do considerable damage and may be fatal in higher quantities.

Polygonaceae -- Buckwheat Family

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 19 April 2008,
updated 5 May 2017.