Rumex aquaticus L. - Western Dock.

Taxonomic position.

Family Polygonaceae Juss., genus Rumex L.


R. protractus Rech.; R. aquaticus subsp. protractus (Rech.fil.); R. fenestratus auct., non Greene.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial plant with erect grooved stem 20-150 cm tall. Stems usually erect, branched only in upper part. Blades of radical and lower cauline leaves 10-30 cm long and 4-12 cm wide, ovate or broadly rounded, oblong-ovate or lanceolate, cordate at base, with basal lobes directed downward. Cauline leaves smaller, on short petioles. Inflorescence paniculate, with adpressed branches and few floral leaves in lower part. Pedicels with indistinct joint in middle part or below. Lateral branches in lower part of inflorescence usually arising from axis by 3. Inner tepals broadly ovate in fruiting, 5-6 mm long and wide, broadly rounded or slightly cordate at base, with entire margin or with obtuse teeth, all without nodules. Fruits 3-3.5 mm long and 1.5-1.7 mm wide, dark brown. Flowers in June - July, fruits in July - August.


General distribution: Scandinavia, Atlantic and Central Europe and Northern Asia. Former USSR: European part - almost throughout, Central Russia - all regions; Middle Asia (mountains); Siberia; Far East.


On watersides, in bogs, boggy meadows, on coastal sands and shingles, in willow thickets.

Use and economic value.

Subterranean organs contain tannic substances. Wild relative of cultivated sorrel.


Grossheim AA. 1930. Flora of Caucasus. V.2. P.340. (In Russian).
Gubanov IA., Kiseleva KV., Novikov VS., Tikhomirov VN. 2003. Illustrated Manual of the Middle Russia Plants. V.2. Moscow: KMK. P.60. (In Russian).
Kharkevich SS., ed. 1989. Vascular plants of the Soviet Far East. V.4. Leningrad: Nauka. 380 p. (In Russian).
Komarov VL., ed. 1936. Flora URSS. V.5. (In Russian). P.391.
Cherepanov SK. 1995. Vascular plants of Russia and adjacent states (the former USSR). St.Petersburg. 990 p. (In Russian).

© T.N.Smekalova


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