curly dock

(Rumex crispus)

Conservation Status
curly dock
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative


FAC - Facultative

  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative


The stems become red with age.

The leaves are long and narrow, up to 6" long and 1" wide, on long petioles. They have a rounded to heart-shaped base. The leaf margins are wavy and crisped, hence the species name crispus. The upper leaf surface is dull, not shiny.

Flower stalks are jointed near the base.

The fruit has three membraneous sepals, called “valves”, each with an elongated, tuber-like projection, for a total of three tubercles per fruit. The margin the valve does not have conspicuous teeth. The fruit becomes dark brown with maturity.




12 to 60


Flower Color


Yellow to greenish


Similar Species


Roadsides, fields, and disturbed sites.




June to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 24, 28, 29, 30.




Native of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Introduced and naturalized in North America.





  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Caryophyllanae  


Caryophyllales (pinks, cactuses, and allies)  


Polygonaceae (knotweed)  
  Subfamily Polygonoideae  
  Tribe Rumiceae  


Rumex (docks)  

Subordinate Taxa






Rumex crispus ssp. crispus

Rumex crispus ssp. fauriei

Rumex fauriei


Common Names


curly dock

narrowleaf dock

sour dock

yellow dock













Referring to leaf edges that are wavy, the individual waves being wavy themselves with secondary waves.



On plants: The stalk of a leaf blade or a compound leaf that attaches it to the stem. On ants and wasps: The constricted first one or two segments of the rear part of the body.

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Alfredo Colon

    curly dock      


    curly dock      


    curly dock   curly dock  


    curly dock   curly dock  
    curly dock   curly dock  


    curly dock      


    curly dock      



  Curled Dock
Wez Smith
  Curled Dock  

Curled Dock (Rumex crispus).

  Rumex crispus CURLY DOCK
Frank Mayfield
  Rumex crispus CURLY DOCK  



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Curly Dock (Rumex crispus)
Wandering Sole TV

Published on Oct 6, 2013

Curly Dock (Rumex crispus), also known as Yellow Dock, is a member of the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae). It is native to native to Europe and Western Asia.

  Curly Duck (Rumex crispus) - 2013-07-13

Published on Aug 2, 2013

Rumex crispus ("Curly Dock" or "Yellow Dock") is a perennial flowering plant in the family Polygonaceae.

De krulzuring (Rumex crispus) is een hemikryptofyte, vaste plant die behoort tot de duizendknoopfamilie (Polygonaceae).

  Curled Dock (Rumex crispus) - 2012-06-11

Published on Jun 12, 2012

Curled Dock (Rumex crispus), also known as Curly Dock, Yellow Dock, Sour Dock, Narrow Dock, sometimes as "narrow-leaved dock" (which properly refers to a variant of Sorrel), and ambiguously as "garden patience", is a perennial flowering plant in the family Polygonaceae.

De krulzuring (Rumex crispus) is een hemikryptofyte, vaste plant die behoort tot de duizendknoopfamilie (Polygonaceae).

  Curly Dock
Tim Goodblood

Published on Jul 24, 2012

Curly Dock or yellow dock, is a nutritious and multi-purpose plant. Used as a medicine, dye, and food. Also... leaves could be harvested early before flowering, and can then be prepared much like spinach.

  Weed of the Week #632-Curly Dock (From Ag PhD #632 5/16/10)

Uploaded on May 22, 2010

The guys deal with this ugly weed, Curly Dock, in this installment of the Weed of the Week.




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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota


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Felton Prairie SNA, Bicentennial Unit

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