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Curly Dock leaves are somewhat tart due to the presence of high levels of oxalic acid, and although quite palatable, this plant should only be consumed in moderation as it can irritate the urinary tract and increase the risk of developing kidney stones. It should be used with care during lactation, as it may cause a laxative effect in the infant. We built a community of flower lovers, who received our weekly emails on the best of the best flowers (available in stores in San Francisco, New York, and London). Our subscribers were shopping for flowers and letting our audience know where they found the best plant hacks.
Docks are perennial plants growing from taproots, and they are most often found in neglected, disturbed ground like open fields and along roadsides. While docks may be happiest and tastiest when they grow with plenty of moisture, the taproot indicates they are drought-tolerant plants. Docks grow as basal rosettes of foliage in early spring; they are often one of the first greens to emerge. By late spring or early summer, dock produces tall flower stalks that bear copious amounts of seed, which are also edible. The seed, however, can be labor-intensive to process and reports on its palatability are highly varied.There are many edible docks, but curly dock and broad-leaved dock are the most common in the USA and Europe. Other edible docks include R. occidentalis (western dock), R. longifolius (yard dock), and R. stenphyllus (field dock). R. hymenosepalus (wild rhubarb) is common in the desert in the American Southwest.
It is larger and more succulent than many other docks. It has been a traditional food and dye source for several Indigenous tribes.The sour flavor of dock comes from oxalic acid, which, when consumed in large quantities, may cause kidney stones. The same compound is found in spinach. If eating spinach is against physician's orders or for those who are prone to kidney stones, don't eat dock. Now, for those who are generally healthy and don't eat large quantities of dock on a regular basis, it should be fine. For those who are nervous about this, err on the side of caution.The midribs of large dock leaves can be tough and fibrous, while the leaf blade remains tender. If a plant with tasty foliage but tough midribs is found, remove the midrib from the leaf before cooking. Additionally, larger petioles may be tough but pleasantly sour. Consider chopping the petioles into small pieces, and cooking them as a substitute for rhubarb or Japanese knotweed. (Source: www.thespruceeats.com)