Rumex crispus

Rumex crispus

Rumex crispus

They are erect plants, usually with long taproots. The fleshy to leathery leaves form a basal rosette at the root. The basal leaves may be different from those near the inflorescence. They may or may not have stipules. Minor leaf veins occur. The leaf blade margins are entire or crenate. Rumex is a co-op, a non-hierarchical, cooperative business owned and led by the collective of our members who are residents of Philadelphia and greater Pennsylvania. We are focused on exploring radical economic alternatives and improving economic opportunity for all.


Herbs, rarely shrubs usually with long, stout roots, sometimes rhizomatous. Leaves alternate, basal and cauline; ochreae tubular. membranous, often entire. Flowers hermaphrodite or unisexual, arranged in whorls forming simple or branched inflorescences, anemophilous. Perianth-segments in two whorls of 3, the outer remaining small and thin, the inner becoming enlarged and often hardened in fruit. Valves (fruiting inner perianth segments) sometimes developing marginal teeth or dorsal tubercles as they mature. Stamens in two whorls of 3; anthers basifixed. Fruit a trigonous nut.

Rumex crispus, along with R. obtusifolius are troublesome weeds in grasslands, pastures and arable land. In agricultural areas R. crispus competes with sown or native pasture species and arable crops. They also occupy area which could be used by more palatable crop species (Cavers & Harper, 1964) and thus reduce forage feeding value. While leaves of R. crispus had only 20% less palatability than ryegrass, and similar protein concentrations to lucerne, rumicin and chrysaborin from above-ground parts and roots, respectively may cause gastric disturbances and dermatitis in cattle if eaten in large quantities. There are also concerns that nitrate and oxalic acid may cause fatalities in livestock (Reviewed in Zaller, 2004). (Source:issg.org)


In nature hybrids of Rumex may be recognized by their appearance. The primary panicles sheds most of the sterile flowers but the plants continue to grow and tend to form secondary flowering panicles. Thus the hybrids are often taller than the parents and assume an untidy habit. Additionally most hybrids fail to set fruit because the flowers dry and fall off before full development of the valves (i.e. the three inner perianth segments) occurs. The few valves which do reach full size exhibit the characters of the parents in various ways.

Often these hybrid nuts, even if reaching full size, are not viable and can be compressed between the fingers.Plants not developing basal rosette of leaves; stems erect, ascending, procumbent, or decumbent, normally with regular, leafy axillary shoots tending to develop 2d-order axillary inflorescences (often overtopping 1st-order ones); leaf blades mostly lanceolate, elliptic, ovate, ovate-lanceolate, or ovate-elliptic, base cuneate or almost rounded, or in some species broadly cuneate; inner tepal margins entire (rarely in some species minutely erose-denticulate) [25c.1. Rumex sect. Axillares] (Source: www.efloras.org)



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