Rumex crispus, the curly dock, curled dock or yellow dock, is a perennial flowering plant in the family Polygonaceae, native to Europe and Western Asia
The plant produces an inflorescence or flower stalk that grows to 1.5 meters (5 feet) high. It has smooth leaves shooting off from a large basal rosette, with distinctive waved or curled edges; these can grow to 14–24 centimeters (5+1⁄2–9+1⁄2 inches). On the stalk, flowers and seeds are produced in clusters on branched stems, with the largest cluster being found at the apex. The seeds are shiny, brown and encased in the calyx of the flower that produced them. This casing enables the seeds to float on water and get caught in wool and animal fur, and this helps the seeds spread to new locations. The root structure is a large, yellow, forking taproot.
Rumex crispus has a number of subspecies with distinctive habitat preferences. R. crispus ssp. crispus occurs on waste and cultivated ground. R. crispus ssp. littoreus has a coastal distribution, and R. crispus ssp. uliginosus occurs on tidal estuarine mud.
Curly dock grows in a wide variety of habitats, including disturbed soil, waste areas, roadsides, fields/meadows, shorelines, and forest edges. It is widely naturalized throughout the temperate world and has become a serious invasive species in many areas, including throughout South Africa, North America, southern South America, New Zealand and parts of Australia. It spreads through the seeds contaminating crop seeds, and sticks to clothing. It is classified as an “injurious weed” under the UK Weeds Act 1959.In the United States, it is classified as a noxious weed in the states of Arkansas and Iowa. It is often seen in disturbed soils at the edges of roadsides, railway beds, and car parks.
Medicinal and other Uses:
It can be used as a wild leaf vegetable; the young leaves should be boiled in several changes of water to remove as much of the oxalic acid in the leaves as possible or can be added directly to salads in moderate amounts. Once the plant matures it becomes too bitter to consume.
Dock leaves are an excellent source of both vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as a source of iron and potassium.
Curly Dock leaves are somewhat tart due to the presence of high levels of oxalic acid, and although quite palatable, this plant should only be consumed in moderation as it can irritate the urinary tract and increase the risk of developing kidney stones. It should be used with care during lactation, as it may cause a laxative effect in the infant.
In Western herbalism, the root is often used for treating anemia, due to its high level of iron. The plant will help with skin conditions if taken internally or applied externally to things like itching, scrofula, and sores.
The Zuni people apply a poultice of the powdered root to sores, rashes and skin infections, and use infusion of the root for athlete’s foot.
Thank you with all my heart for stopping by and looking at my post.
If you like what you see please click on the like button, share, and leave a comment.
Have a Blessed day
PS. I am busy saving for a few upcoming Landscape Photography Trips to Scotland, and Namibia, a few road trips in the USA, including Route 66, and a few local National Parks and Botanical gardens in South Africa. The most important trip is honoring my promise to Dad to return to Scotland and capture the beautiful landscapes and Puffins. Your help to make these trips a reality would be much appreciated in today’s economy.