Bloody Dock (Rumex sanguineus)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 12 - 18 inches
Plant Spread: 12 - 18 inches
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Other: Bright green with red veins and stems. Sharp, tangy flavor.
Fruiting Time: Summer
Flower Color: Green
Russet
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Uses: Vegetable
Salad greens
Suitable as Annual
Edible Parts: Leaves
Eating Methods: Raw
Cooked
Toxicity: Other: Can be eaten much like spinach, but some people may experience mild stomach upset. Other species of rumex are considered better for culinary use.
Propagation: Seeds: Depth to plant seed: 1/4 inch
Sow in situ
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Other info: Matures in 55 days. Tastes better when harvested before maturity date (40 days).
Pollinators: Wind

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Comments:
Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Feb 3, 2012 7:43 AM

This herb/vegetable is winter hardy here and grows well in zones 4-9. It is great to use fresh when the weather is frosty and everything else is dead. This dock is tough and easy to grow. The leaves are beautiful. When crushed or torn they produce a red juice that will stain.

Bloody Dock grows to about 15-inches tall and about 12-inches wide. Grow it in partial shade to full sun but seems to do best with some shade. It needs moisture but will survive periods of drought by shedding its leaves. It is good for areas that are constantly damp or prone to flooding and does well in a bog.

In summer, small star-shaped, green then brown flowers are produced on many branched vertical stems that rise about a foot above the foliage. The reddish-purple seed heads are showy and remain for a long time. This plant is easy to grow from seed, and will reseed.

New leaves can be eaten like spinach.


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