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Curly dock (Rumex crispus)

Curly dock Common Names: Curley dock, narrowleaf dock, sour dock, yellow dock

Description: This species is listed under Regulation No. 715 - Seed Law Implementation as a restricted noxious weed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

Habit: Herbaceous perennial growing 2-5 feet tall with erect flowering stems 30-160 cm long.

Leaves: Alternate and cauline growing up to 6 in. long and 1 in. across. Oblong-lanceolate, hairless, and dull green. Margins are crisped and undulate up and down. Petioles are 2 in. long becoming broader at the base.

Stems: Round, hairless, and ribbed.

Flowers: Inflorescence is a panicle with few, short, erect branches. Flowers are crowded into whorls. Petals and sepals are orbicular-deltoid in shape and green in color.

Fruit and seeds: Covered in a papery, three-winged membrane with veins. 1 seeded achene is triangular in cross-section, smooth, glossy, and reddish brown. Flower parts that adhere to the fruit can be toothed or have tubercles.

Habitat: Native to Europe and Western Asia. Found in ditches, roadsides, wetlands, pastures, crop fields (alfalfa), orchards, and disturbed sites.

Reproduction: Primarily by seeds, which are dispersed by wind and water.

Similar species: Red sorrel (Rumex acetosella).

Monitoring and rapid response: Sensitive to many herbicides, esp. synthetic auxins (2,4-D, dicamba, etc.) and many sulphonylureas. Hand weeding can be effective for small areas, making sure to remove the tap root to prevent regrowth (20 cm). Grazing by sheep, mechanical removal or biocontrol.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Global Invasive Species Database and University of California IPM Program

Photos courtesy of the Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences and the Dale A. Zimmerman Herbarium

Common Name:

Curly dock

Scientific Name:

Rumex crispus







USDA Symbol: