Bitter or Broad-Leaved Dock,  Rumex obtusifolius
Polygonaceae or Buckwheat Family

Coarse, homely plant, about 4-5 feet tall.  Lower leaves oblong egg-shaped, pointed, heart-shaped at the base, with curly edges, often with red or reddish veins.  Flowers in small clusters on a long flowerstalk at the top of the plant.  Flowers tiny, green.  Fruits tiny, reddish, with three spiny wings surrounding a seed.

Alien weed of fields and waste places.  Common  in the field at the south end of the Park, and occasional along the road and bikeway.

A distinctive plant in the Park, easily recognized by it's overall aspect and its broad leaves.  Curled dock (R. crispus) is similar, but the leaves are narrow and the fruits have no spines. Field or red sorrel (R. acetosella) looks like a very miniature version of curled dock, being only about a foot tall.  Other species of dock (Rumex) can be distinguished by leaf and fruit characteristics; however, they have not been reported yet in the Park.




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