Yellow Dock or Rumex obtusifolius

Yellow Dock or Rumex obtusifolius

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rumex obtusifolius, commonly known as bitter dock, broad-leaved dock, bluntleaf dock, dock leaf or butter dock, is a perennial weed in the family Polygonaceae. It is native to Europe but can now be found in the United States and many other countries around the world such as Australia and New Zealand.
Yellow Dock
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Rumex
Species: R. obtusifolius
Binomial name: Rumex obtusifolius


Rumex obtusifolius is a perennial herbaceous flowering plant that grows to a height of 50 to 130 cm (20 to 51 in). It is easily recognizable by its very large oval leaves with cordate bases and rounded tips, some of the lower leaves having red stems. The edges of the leaves are slightly “crisped” or wavy, the upper surface is hairless and the under surface may be papillose. The leaves of this plant can grow to about 40 cm (16 in) in length. The stems are tough, often reddish, and unbranched until just below the inflorescence.


Leaves of the plant can be used as salad, to prepare a vegetable broth or to be cooked like spinach. They contain oxalic acid which can be hazardous if consumed in large quantities.

Dried seeds are used as a spice.

In Romania, the leaves are sometimes used as an alternative to other plants in the making of sarmale.

Medicinal uses of the herb

The dock leaves contain oxalic acid and the roots contain tannic acid. Broad-leaved dock leaves have been used to soothe burns, blisters, and nettle stings. A tea prepared from the root was thought to cure boils.

Other historical uses

In George Eliot’s Adam Bede, set in the early 19th century, broad dock leaves are used to wrap farmhouse butter.


Bibliographic details for “Rumex obtusifolius”
Page name: Rumex obtusifolius
Author: Wikipedia contributors
Publisher: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Date of last revision: 12 November 2017 20:23 UTC
Date retrieved: 8 December 2017 23:21 UTC
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Primary contributors: Revision history statistics
Page Version ID: 809996153