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  Curly dock  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
curly dock Rumex crispus


Curly dock, or curled dock, is a member of the buckwheat family. This biennial or perennial herb has a taproot. Its stems are erect and unbranched. The leaves grow in a basal rosette and along the stem. Stem leaves are arranged alternately. The lance-shaped, smooth leaves are wavy along the edges and may be 10 inches long and three inches wide. Flowers are borne in whorls at the tip of the stem and in the leaf axils. The green or brown flowers are each attached to a slender, drooping stalk. The fruits have three, heart-shaped wings. Curly dock may grow to a height of four feet.

Curly dock may be found throughout Illinois. It grows in field edges, roadsides and along streams. Flowers are produced from April through May. Curly dock is a native of Europe that was transported to the United States with early settlers and has spread tremendously.

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