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Wood Dock

A common species of dock found in shady places and usually on heavy soils.



  • Wood Dock: not bloody likely

    Post date: Tuesday, 16 February, 2016 - 00:00

    You can find wood dock (Rumex sanguineus) just about anywhere there it is shade from trees. This is, of course, mainly in woodland habitats but it freely occurs along hedgerows where trees create shade. It is the only dock one is likely to find in these conditions. It has a preference for heavy, damp soils.

    It is a much more delicate plant than the other common dock species which tend to be sturdy, significant plants. Wood dock grows to about about two feet tall and the leaves tend to be only on the lower levels of the stems. The flower spikes occur ion June and July but because they are red in colour similar to the reddish brown seed heads it can give the impression of flowering longer.

    Sanguineus means "resembling or containing blood" which is a bit odd as I have never noticed anything of the sort in plants I have seen. There is a garden variety called the blood-vein dock which has red veins in the leaves which has the latin name Rumex sanguineus var sanguineus.


Common Name Wood Dock
Scientific Name Rumex sanguineus
Species Group Dock Family Polygonaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Dock family - Polygonaceae
Status Locally common
Flower Colour Group Green
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
Preferred Environment
Look for An upright and slender dock with small flower heads
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