WOOD DOCK

Rumex sanguineus

Dock & Knotweed Family [Polygonaceae]

Flowers:
month8may month8jun month8june

Fruit:
fruit8jun fruit8june fruit8jul fruit8july fruit8aug fruit8sep fruit8sept fruit8oct

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8cream
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ6
(3+3)
type
typeZclustered
 
type
typeZtieredwhorls
 
stem
stem8square
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8ribbed
 

18th June 2010, hedgerow, Ulverston Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Grows to 60cm high but unlike the similar Clustered Dock has straight stems which lack the slight zig-zaggedness of the latter.


18th June 2010, hedgerow, Ulverston Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
This specimen is actually in flower (rather than in fruit) the first Dock your Author has ever seen in flower. Unlike Clustered Dock the leaves stop well short of the top of the plant.


18th June 2010, hedgerow, Ulverston Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in well-spaced whorls, drooping downwards.


18th June 2010, hedgerow, Ulverston Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Several long, narrow cream-coloured anthers dangle.


18th June 2010, hedgerow, Ulverston Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A winged leaf emerging from just below one of the flower whorls.


18th June 2010, hedgerow, Ulverston Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
There are actually 6 tepals, three outer ones and three inner ones (seen best in far right or far left flower). When the flowers are in fruit, the tepals refered to in identification texts are the inner tepals which cradle the fruit(s). The flowers themselves do not figure at all in any ID texts for Docks, it is mostly the shape and size of the (inner) tepals and fruit(s) (when in fruit only) and the jizz of the plant as well as the shape and sizes of the leaves.


16th June 2010, woods, Bryn Euryn, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The flowers not yet open. Leaves singly just beneath the flower whorl (there is an abherrant whorl with two leaves). The branches emerge at an angle between 15° - 25° (up to 45°) from the stem for Wood Dock, whereas it is between 30° - 90° for the very similar Clustered Dock)


16th June 2010, woods, Bryn Euryn, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Flowers not yet open.


16th June 2010, woods, Bryn Euryn, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Flowers still closed.


16th June 2010, woods, Runcorn East, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Lower leaves with winged stems like most Docks. Stems ridged.


16th June 2010, woods, Runcorn East, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD


16th June 2010, woods, Runcorn East, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Flower whorls still warpped up in sheathes. Upper stems square.


16th June 2010, woods, Runcorn East, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Basal rosette.


16th June 2010, woods, Runcorn East, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Basal leaves are large and sagittate at the base with a green vein (in the common variety of Wood Dock var. viridus - there is a rare variety with a red vein called var. sanguineus). [Small deeply-toothed leaves of Small Nettle on left].


16th June 2010, woods, Runcorn East, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The stem leaves are also large with a winged stem but are not sagittate at the base.


16th June 2010, woods, Runcorn East, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
In fruit. Fruits small and white.


16th June 2010, woods, Runcorn East, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Upper stems square. Wart oval, c. 1.3mm long.


16th June 2010, woods, Runcorn East, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Only one of the three tepals has a large wart, the other two have either no wart or only a small poorly-developed wart (wheraeas Clustered Dock has a wart on each of the three tepals) Tepals un-toothed and 2-3mm long.


Not to be semantically confused with : Burdock (Arctium species) [plants of similar name]

Easily mistaken for : Clustered Dock (Rumex conglomeratus) but that prefers frshwater margins, marshy grassland and other dampish places in the open. Other differences are shown in the photo captions.

Hybridises with the similar : Clustered Dock (Rumex conglomeratus) to produce Rumex × ruhmeri which is the second-most fertile hybrid, but the similarity of both parents makes confirmation of the hybrid very difficult. It is probably frequent throughout the British Isles.

Although Docks do indeed have flowers they are seldom seen in real life and seldom mentioned or shown in identification books because the flowers themselves must have no unique identifying features apart from the shape of the tepals; unlike as with the fruits which come afterwards and last a lot longer than the flowers.


  Rumex sanguineus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Polygonaceae  

Distribution
 family8Dock & Knotweed family8Polygonaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Rumex
Rumex
(Docks)

WOOD DOCK

Rumex sanguineus

Dock & Knotweed Family [Polygonaceae]