Bitter dock (Rumex obtusifolius)

Bitter dock Common Names: Broadleaf dock, Bluntleaf dock

Description: Grows rapidly in areas dominated by native species; Host to a number of viruses, fungus and nematodes.

Habit: Erect; perennial; to 4 ft tall; stout forb; usually 1 un-branched stem to the flower clusters; taproot that sometimes branches.

Leaves: Lower with heart-shaped base, oblong to oval, up to 6 in wide, upper much smaller, blade oblong to ovate-oblong, sometimes broadly ovate; 20-40 by 10-15 cm, usually less than 4 times as long as wide.

Stems: Erect; branched distal to middle or occasionally in distal 2/ 3; often with few flowering stems from rootstock, 60-120(-150) cm.

Flowers: Yellow in color, 10-25 in lax whorls, 6-parted, 1.5-2 times as long as wide, base truncate.

Fruit and seeds: Produces up to 60,000 seeds per year.

Habitat: Native to Eurasia and Asia. Found in disturbed areas; pastures, river banks and open moist places, and a major weed of gardens and arable land; stockyards, cowsheds and other places with very high nitrogen levels.

Reproduction: By seed.

Similar species: Other dock species (Rumex spp.) but can be distinguished by its shiny leaves, which are broad, well-rounded or cordate at the base and crisped along the margins.

Monitoring and rapid response: Monitor farm land and disturbed areas.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the USDA PLANTS Database and the U.S. Forest Service.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Bitter dock

Scientific Name:

Rumex obtusifolius







USDA Symbol: