Wood Dock - Rumex sanguineus

Alternative names
Red-veined Dock

Medium to tall plant more slender than Clustered Dock and with straighter stems and panicles less leafy branches held at a more acute angle to the stem. Fruit with only one valve swollen. The narrow, green leaves become wider and often develop red veins as they mature. The leaf bases of Wood Dock are truncate rather than cordate

A cultivated variety (var. sanguineus) has blood-red leaf veins even when immature, and may occasionally escape from gardens.

Similar Species

other docks

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

one tubercle well-developed, rounded and smooth 

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 is needed.


Woodland rides, path sides, damper shaded places.

When to see it

June to September.

Life History


UK Status

Common in England & Wales, less common in northern Scotland.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 491 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Native, Frequent

Further Information


be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map