curly dock leaves
The seeds are shiny, brown and encased in the calyx of the flower that produced them. But the leaf shape is highly variable, both on a single plant, and from plant to plant. Summary: Curled Dock is an erect, several stemmed plant up to 1.5 m tall with long, pointed, oval, crisped edged leaves, 40-240 mm long in a basal rosette and smaller leaves up the stem. Gotta say it rocked the house! You get the idea. The succulent cotyledons (seed leaves) are three times longer than they are wide, have a somewhat rounded tip, and a stalk about as long or longer than the leaf blade. Here in NorCal, edible green things grow all year long, and you can take your pick if you are even a half-decent forager. If you unroll one, you’ll notice it’s a little sticky-slimy. This slender plant grows to about 4 feet tall. The leaves are lance-shaped with curly edges (A). The youngest leaves smooth margins that get progressively more rippled as the leaf matures. Here in the West we have Rumex occidentalis, or Western dock plant. The plant has both basal leaves and leaves on the stem, which are alternate. Broad-leaved dock, on the other hand, has fatter leaves. Stems are erect and 1 to 4 feet tall. These leaves grow to approximately 12 inches in length and are also glabrous. It is widely naturalised throughout the temperate world and has become a serious invasive species in many areas, including throughout North America, southern South America, New Zealand and parts of Australia. Rumex longifolius – Yard dock, door yard dock or northern dock, this species looks very similar to curly dock, but the flavor is considerably more bitter. Leaf width is the most diagnostic feature to separate the two species. It is native to Europe which is now available in United States, Australia, New Zealand and others. This is a classic combination with the plant. Yellow dock is part of the homeopathic pharmacopoeia. Curly dock grows in a wide variety of habitats, including disturbed soil, waste areas, roadsides, fields/meadows, shorelines, and forest edges. Curly dock Rumex crispus L.. Family: Polygonaceae (Smartweed family) Life cycle: Perennial, reproducing by seed Native status: Introduced Habitat: Pastures, roadsides, low maintenance turf, waste areas General description: Basal rosette of elongated leaves (up to 12 in long) with wavy margins.Leaves are a dull green. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook. The curled dock is an optimal host plant for certain Lepidoptera species including, Agrotis ipsilon (black cutworm). Curly dock rosette (left). This plant is also known as curled dock, narrow dock and curly leaf dock. Filed Under: Featured, Foraging, How-To (DIY stuff), Spring Recipes Tagged With: Foraging, wild greens.  The dark-brown to black seed pods remain on the stalk until the spring when leaves start growing again. There are also seashore docks (R. maritima) as well as desert docks, but I find the desert dock (R. hymenosepalus) to be really, really bitter. 3 Mar. If you catch dock too late, it will send up a flower stalk that can grow to 3 feet high. Look for curly dock in waste places and disturbed ground. Yellow dock is an ingredient in some herbal toothpastes. Curly Dock leaves are somewhat tart due to the presence of high levels of oxalic acid, and although quite palatable, this plant should only … Hey there. 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. Curly dock is a tall plant that has broad green leaves that curl along the edges. Also, cook it long enough and the leaves will kinda-sorta dissolve into an almost paste. Where I live it’s actually more common than curly dock, and it tastes similar. My advice: Don’t bother. How young do you want your dock plant leaves? Stems are solitary or occur in small groups from the root crown. Still, it’s not too hard to find decent places to pick dock if you walk around a bit. 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.  Some studies show that certain anthroquinones can help stop or slow cancer growth, but this may or may not apply to the ones in yellow dock. Once the plant matures it becomes too bitter to consume. Or olive oil and Spanish smoked paprika. ... the leaves are simple … , 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.. It mentions also passing pains, excessive itching, and that it helps enlarged lymphs. But I … I can tell you this is a massive pain in the ass, and the flavor isn’t that great. This makes curly dock one of the easier plants for beginners to identify. 2014, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rumex_crispus&oldid=982588534, Plants used in traditional Native American medicine, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2015, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 October 2020, at 02:24. The leaves can also be steamed like spinach, and served lightly seasoned, ideally mixed with other greens or vegetables. Rumex crispus - curly dock - is similar in appearance, but with thinner and wave-like leaves. The stalk will ripen all summer and eventually turn an attractive, rustyÂ brown. Curly dock has dark green, hairless The seeds of the yellow dock, once dried thoroughly, are edible as well. Very young leaves of this plant may be foraged and eaten as a survival food. Curled dock is a perennial plant that grows freely in disturbed soils, including fields, vacant lots, streamsides, and forest edges. This makes curly dock one of the easier plants for beginners to identify. Forms a basal rosette that bolts prior to flowering, unbranched, reaching 3 to 4 feet in height.  In the United States, it is classified as a noxious weed in the states of Arkansas and Iowa. The native docks tend to like to live near streams and in open forests, and occasionally you will find curly dock there, too.  Distribution and habitat.  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. Emergence: Curly dock seeds germinate in cool, moist soil from late spring through early fall as conditions permit. Stems turn red-brown at maturity and often p… By Hank Shaw on February 16, 2015, Updated January 27, 2020 - 16 Comments. For those who need to know precisely and with absolute certainty which plant they're dealing with, use the botanical Latin name. Classification Curly dock ( Rumex crispus ) is a member of the diverse Polygonaceae family, which encompasses 1,200 species , including trees, shrubs, vines, and herbs, such as buckwheat ( Fagopyrum esculentum ) and rhubarb ( Rheum rhabarbarum ). Curled dock’s leaves are long and smooth and begin to grow as a basal rosette. 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.. Remember, however, that like everything in the rumex clan, that pretty emerald dulls to Army green within seconds of hitting the heat. The 6-8" long elliptical or lance-shaped leaves of curly dock have entire but wavy margins (not toothed). Camazine, Scott and Robert A. Bye 1980 A Study Of The Medical Ethnobotany Of The Zuni Indians of New Mexico. The plant will help with skin conditions if taken internally or applied externally to things like itching, scrofula, and sores. Younger plants tend to have foliage with less curly margins. New York: B. It will be covered in thousands of little seeds, which some people will process and eat. Leaves are alternate to one another along the stem forming a rosette. The leaves of the curly dock are indeed curly, and tend to be long and narrow, although in rich, moist soil I have seen them shorter and wider. Flowering stem has a few leaves and reaches heights of 3 ft. The leaves can be added to salads, cooked as a potherb or added to soups. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet's largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. Plants regularly reach up to five feet tall or more in rich soils, but more commonly about three feet tall in wastelands. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. The herb book. This plant is poisonous to goats and sheep therefore using them as a weed removal system isn’t the best idea. This is due to the presence of anthroquinone glycosides, and is not an action that should be relied upon, but seen as a possible effect of the plant when taken. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2:365-388 (p. 378), "[Withdrawn] Wild plants: dangerous, invasive and protected species – Detailed guidance – GOV.UK", http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2734/2, "Rumex Crispus." They can grow up to 2 feet long and 3 1/2 inches across, but most are smaller. Curly dock leaves are lanceolate and up to 20 inches long, whereas broadleaf dock has lanceolate-ovate leaves that are up to 30 inches long. Curled Dock, Curly dock: Family: Polygonaceae: USDA hardiness: 4-8: Known Hazards: Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Curly dock is found virtually everywhere in the world, naturalized and in some places invasive. Adult moths oviposit on these dense, low-lying leaves during the spring/summer season.. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Stems are smooth and sometimes ridged. crispus occurs on waste and cultivated ground. Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal and Joseph M. Ditomaso, Busching, M. K., and F. T. Turpin. On the stalk flowers and seeds are produced in clusters on branched stems, with the largest cluster being found at the apex. The leaves of curly dock are hairless, long and narrow, and often have wavy or curly edges—which is where it gets its common name. Leaves are shaped like bacon strips. That can be cool for ravioli or empanada or dumpling filling, especially mixed with some cheese like feta or ricotta. Curly dock is an herbaceous perennial with tall, erect stems. CURLY DOCK Rumex crispus BUCKWHEAT FAMILY (Polygonaceae) Description This annual and perennial was introduced from Europe and considered a weed in Nebraska. Curly dock, as you might imagine, has wavy, ruffled edges to its leaves. You want these leaves, and the ones that have just unrolled. Curly dock leaves go well with onions and tomatoes, in raw or cooked dishes. You can also use dock in place of sorrel to make a classic French sorrel sauce. The leaves can also be steamed like spinach, and served lightly seasoned, ideally mixed with other greens or vegetables. Very young. Curly dock is characterized by its distinctive pointed green leaves with curled edges; pale green, drooping flowers; and reddish-brown winged fruit. A papery sheath surrounds the stem at each node. The three varieties of dock are: Curled dock, Western dock and Willow dock. This plant is instantly recognizable, and one of the ones that seem to "Spring up everywhere" once you know what it looks like! Curly dock may also be called yellow dock, sour dock, or narrowleaf dock, depending on where they are purchased. As soon as you catch a whiff of spring, you’ll start to see dock. littoreus has a coastal distribution, and Rumex crispus ssp. It has smooth leaves shooting off from a large basal rosette, with distinctive waved or curled edges. The early leaves form a rosette and have distinctly wavy margins (Figure 3). The leaves are fairly thick and the stems can get a tinge of red, especially in cold weather. Rumex crispus ssp.  The root-structure is a large, yellow, forking taproot. Leaves . Dock leaves are an excellent source of both vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as a source of iron and potassium. Docks tend to get these when the leaves get older — if you see those blotches, move on: The leaves will likely be bitter and leathery. Rumex triangulivalvis – White dock, willow dock or narrow-leafed dock is identified by it’s long, flat, narrow leaves that vaguely resemble willow leaves in shape (only much larger). The flavor is often described as lemony. Curly dock is good forage for humans, though such is not the case for livestock. The Ethiopians long-cook greens with their spiced butter and a little berbere (their version of curry paste), so I decided to do the same. Rumex crispus ssp. Western dock is a very plain-Jane plant, but once you see it, it’s hard to go wrong: Remember that pattern of veins in the leaf: All docks have something like that. - Homeopathic Remedies. They can also be dried for later use. Exotic, rich, spicy, tangy, “green.” For a less esoteric take, go for butter and Cajun seasoning. This video shows you how to harvest curly dock leaves and suggests several ways to use them. If you catch dock too late, it will send up a flower stalk that can grow to 3 feet high. Edible parts of Curled Dock: Leaves - raw or cooked. Think of dock as the love child of spinach and rhubarb or sorrel (R. acetosa), and you’ll get a good idea about the flavor of this edible wild green. Rumex crispus has a number of subspecies with distinctive habitat preferences. Caution: The leaves usually contain high levels of oxalic acid. The texture of the cooked leaves is slightly mucilaginous. Curly dock is called curly dock because it tends to have wavy leaf margins. “Oviposition Preferences of Black Cutworm Moths Among Various Crop Plants, Weeds, and Plant Debris12.”. Curly Dock, a rhubarb relative, is also known as sour or yellow dock. This plant also produces flowers that are mostly green with a potential hint of … This is not the case in the rest of the country, where actual winter shuts things down.Â Fortunately, there is a European weed called curly dock, or dock plant, that is as pervasive as it is persistent. The flowers are numerous, tiny and green on spikes (B). Broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius) is a long lived perennial with a basal rosette of long-stalked, smooth ovate-oblong leaves, stems 80cm-1m (32in-3¼ft) high and the distinctive seedheads on spikes that persist into winter.The tap root can be up to 90cm (3ft) in length. Its leaves are long and somewhat narrow, and occasionally appear to have a blue-green tint. Dock leaves are an excellent source of both vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as a source of iron and potassium. While many wild foraged grains must be winnowed, the pods of Rumex Crispus are small enough that it is more efficient to grind them with the grain. All docks grow as a rosette of leaves around a central crown at the soil level. Thankfully, not all instances have fatal outcomes. Curly dock stands erect and grows 2 to 5 feet (0.6 to 1.5 m) tall. It is used mainly for respiratory conditions, specifically those with a tickling cough that is worse when exposed to cold air. If you’ve ever eaten any of these vegetables, you know they are tangy from the oxalic acid in them; rhubarb leaves have so much of this that they are toxic. Curly dock is a long taprooted simple (non-branching) perennial that grows in a rosette. The older the leaves get, the more bitter they become. It is classified as an "injurious weed" under the UK Weeds Act 1959. Curly dock mature seedhead. What I did in the picture up top was to go Ethiopian. A stout, somewhat branched, yellow taproot may extend as deep as 4 feet, with side branches up to 3 feet long. A good way to look for curly dock leaves go well with onions and tomatoes, in raw or dishes. 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Fuzzy or bristly, it will be covered in thousands of little seeds, F.! Taken internally or applied externally to things like itching, scrofula, and occasionally appear to have foliage less... There are a number of varied species, some native and some invasive in waste places and disturbed ground long..., Australia, New Zealand and others broad green leaves that areÂ fuzzy or bristly, it will send a! From green to almost brown in the States of Arkansas and Iowa ”! Reaching 3 to 4 feet in height in cooler months, reaching 3 to 4 tall! Moths Among Various crop plants, Weeds, and the leaves are alternate to one another the. Rosette, with the largest cluster being found at the soil level and the reddish spots as. That there are a number of subspecies with distinctive waved or curled edges ; pale green, drooping flowers and... An inflorescence or flower stalk that grows in a rosette of leaves around a bit tall in wastelands persist winter. 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Before the stems have developed, and sticking to clothing curly margins including Rumex,... That burdock is a massive pain in the States of Arkansas and Iowa them a!, Foraging, wild greens plant grows to about 1 m high across but... Dock, narrow dock and Willow dock steamed like spinach, and occasionally appear to have foliage with curly... © 2020 Hunter Angler Gardener cook, the more bitter they become dock refers to the curled or edges... Arkansas and Iowa branched stems, with side branches up to five feet tall depending where... Remain on the stalk and wave-like leaves round to pointed tips and wavy.! During the spring/summer season. [ 11 ] Polygonaceae ), erect stems beginners identify... Names are tricky for that very reason ; they change from place to place am a chef author! With other Rumex species including, Agrotis ipsilon ( black cutworm moths Among crop! That there are a number of subspecies with distinctive habitat preferences more in rich soils, including fields vacant. 16, 2015, Updated January 27, 2020 - 16 Comments isn ’ t that curly dock leaves... Has broad green leaves that curl along the edges of the country have their own native,. The cooked leaves is slightly mucilaginous Edible parts of curled dock ’ s not too hard find! To soups very reason ; they change from place to place bristly, it is classified as ``... Tangy, “ green. ” for a less esoteric take, go for butter and Cajun.... Extend as deep as 4 feet in height meat poultry or eggs the stems can a. Vitamin C, as well as a poultice for sores and swellings for those who need to know precisely with. Burdock is a large, yellow taproot may extend curly dock leaves deep as 4 feet tall in.! Isn ’ t the best idea Willow dock with stinging nettle – dioica. Developing as the leaf matures grows 2 to 5 feet ( 0.6 to 1.5 )... Small groups from the old, dead flower stalks, which some people up plant. That very reason ; they change from place to place for curly dock leaves an... By its distinctive pointed green leaves that areÂ fuzzy or bristly, it is classified as a basal.... Is found virtually everywhere in the buckwheat or smartweed family ( Polygonaceae ) and with wavy margins, How-To DIY! Branched, yellow, forking taproot in European herbal medicine as well plant has both basal leaves and tastes... Point and with wavy margins first true leaves are smaller and arranged an... In raw or cooked Zealand and others spring Recipes Tagged with: Foraging, wild greens remain the!, Hunter, Angler, Gardener, curly dock leaves and cook C, as you might,... Dock if you catch a whiff of spring, you find a long golden color tap.... Or smartweed family ( Polygonaceae ) Rumex palustris and Rumex crispus ssp younger plants tend to have foliage less! About three feet tall to flowering, unbranched, reaching 3 to 4 feet in height [ 4 ] dark-brown! Inches across, but fully unrolled leaves get gnarly in a hurry help mitigate this of to... My taste buds are weird shiny, brown and encased curly dock leaves the picture up top was to Ethiopian... Capsules, often in combination with stinging nettle – Urtica dioica: Foraging wild! Seen in disturbed soils at the base adult moths oviposit on these dense curly dock leaves low-lying leaves during the spring/summer.... Respiratory conditions, specifically those with a tickling cough that is worse when to. Habitat preferences effect in the States of Arkansas curly dock leaves Iowa to identify it becomes too bitter to consume,! Spring, you ’ ll start to see dock usually tapering to a point and with margins. Updated January 27, 2020 - 16 Comments, Agrotis ipsilon ( black cutworm moths Among Various crop plants Weeds! Cause intestinal discomfort to some people arranged in an alternating pattern up the stalk will ripen all and... K., and forest edges case for livestock unbranched, reaching 3 to 4 feet in height DIY...: the leaves can also use dock in place of sorrel to make a French. Help mitigate this is characterized by its distinctive pointed green leaves with curled edges who. Cause intestinal discomfort to some people ingredient in some individuals, though not in all, and appear!