Curled Dock - Rumex crispus


Medium to tall plant. Leaves narrow-lanceolate with very wavy margins, short stalked. Flowerheads dense, in branched spikes, branches rather upright. Fruit valves heart shaped, 1 -3 swollen tubercles.

Similar Species

Other docks

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Tubercles oblong, one (or rarely all 3) well-developed, valves triangular, rounded, no lateral teeth.  Leaves with wavy margins.

Recording advice

The fruits have a central part, triangular in cross-section, with three membraneous valves surrounding a small, hard 'tubercle'.  The shape and arrangement of valves and tubercles is diagnostic, and close-up photos of fruits and leaves/general habit are needed.


Disturbed and cultivated land, waste places, hedge banks.

When to see it

June to October.

Life History


UK Status

Quite common in much of Britain, but less so in the north.

VC55 Status

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 596 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 20111) it is listed as subsp crispus, and is Native, frequent

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map