Curled Dock

©Northeast Wildlife

Curled dock

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Scientific name: Rumex crispus
Curled dock is often considered a 'weed'. It can be found near water or on disturbed ground almost anywhere. It is similar to Broad-leaved dock, with which it can hybridise.

Top facts


Height: up to 1m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Curled dock is a very common plant found in gardens, along roadside verges and hedgerows, on waste ground, and by water. As with other docks, it is often considered a weed of arable and disturbed ground, although it may be left alone on grazing land as extra herbage. As with many of our 'weed' species, Curled dock shows incredible resistance to change; for example, it can be submerged in floodwaters for up to eight weeks and still survive, despite its preference for drier soils.

What to look for

Curled dock has slender leaves, usually tapering to a point and with wavy margins. Broad-leaved dock, on the other hand, has fatter leaves. Curled dock has tall flower spikes with very densely packed flowers and seeds.

Where to find


Did you know?

The leaves of Curled dock can be added to salads or soups, although they should be boiled well to remove any toxicity and they should be young stems as they can taste bitter the older they get.