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Curled Dock

A very common weed of cultivation. Much narrower leaves than its common cousin the broad-leaved dock



  • Curled Dock: ironsides

    Post date: Tuesday, 11 August, 2015 - 00:00

    Docks can be troublesome weeds of cultivation and curled dock (Rumex crispus) along with its close cousin broad-leaved dock are as guilty as any! Both are very common and can spread over quite large areas if unchecked. The two also hybridise and they happily live together.

    Telling curled and broad-leaved dock apart is relatively easy just by the leaved. Curled dock has narrow leaves that, yes, 'curl' up around the edges whereas broad-leaved dock has, yes, broad leaves that are mainly flat. The flowers are a little different too with curled dock flowers being redder and in bigger clusters.  Once the hybrid species kicks in it becomes much more difficult.

    Curled dock contains oxalic acid and a high iron content. It is used for a variety of herbal remedies including the treatment of anaemia. The leaves are also used as a form of cabbage in some places but they have to be boiled for some time with frequent changes of water to remove the unwanted chemicals.


Common Name Curled Dock
Scientific Name Rumex crispus
Species Group Dock Family Polygonaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Dock family - Polygonaceae
Status Common
Flower Colour Group Green
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
Preferred Environment
Look for Dock with narrow leaves and spikes of green flowers with purple sepals and stem
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Dock Family Polygonaceae