Rumex(redirected from Dock (plant))
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a genus of perennial or annual herbs or subshrubs of the family Polygonaceae. The erect branching stem is for the most part rough. The leaves are large and petioled. The bisexual or, less commonly, unisexual flowers are in panicled inflorescences. The fruit is a three-angled achene.
There are about 150 species of Rumex, distributed mainly in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. The USSR has more than 50 species. The plants grow along roads and rivers, near fences, on floodplain meadows, and in wastelands, orchards, gardens, and fields. They are only sometimes eaten by livestock. The plants severely suppress the growth of cultivated plants, including valuable cereal grasses.
The garden sorrel (R. acetosa) is cultivated as a vegetable. It is sown several times throughout the summer. The leaves are gathered 18 to 25 days after sowing; if the seeds are not needed, the flower stalks are cut. Varieties of garden sorrel include Belleville, Odesskii 17, and Broad-leaved. The fresh leaves are used to prepare various foods, including canned goods (puree). The leaves contain oxalic acid, iron, and tannins. Another cultivated species is the spinach-dock, or herb patience (R. patientia). The species R. confertus is cut before seed maturation for silage.