Rumex obtusifolius (Broad-leaved Dock)

Rumex obtusifolius (Broad-leaved Dock)

Broad-leaved Dock is a perennial plant native to Europe, but has become naturalized world wide. It is an invasive species with a high potential to out compete native plants, primarily because of massive seed production. It is considered to be a noxious weed in many places, but is not yet listed as one in the PNW. 

Spiny tepals of Rumex obtusifolius

When Rumex obtusifolius is large and mature it is unmistakable, with ovate leaves 10-16” long by 4-6” wide. Younger plants can be differentiated from other Rumex spp. by the combination of a lack of arrow-shaped leaves and the presence of spiny tepals.

The broad leaf of Broad-leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius)

This plant is a known larval host for the butterfly Lycaena helloides (Purplish Copper), the moths Hyles lineata (White-lined Sphinx Moth) and Resapamea passer (Dock Rustic Moth), and the leaf beetle Gastrophysa cyanea (Green Dock Beetle).

It is considered edible, as a bitter salad herb, but does contain large amounts of oxalic acid, so care should be exercised. This is particularly important for folks prone to forming kidney stones.

Rumex obtusifolius

Size- Up to 4’ tall

Habitat- Damp, disturbed ground

Range- Region wide; more common west of Cascades

Blooms-  Mid to late summer. 

Rumex obtusifolius (Broad-leaved Dock)

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