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Vascular Plants of California
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Rumex obtusifolius
BITTER DOCK


Higher Taxonomy
Family: PolygonaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: BUCKWHEAT FAMILY
Habit: Annual to shrub [tree]. Stem: nodes swollen or not. Leaf: simple, basal or cauline, generally alternate; ocreae present or 0, generally scarious, persistent or not. Inflorescence: flower clusters in axillary to terminal cyme-, panicle-, raceme-, spike-, umbel- or head-like arrangements, entire inflorescence or main inflorescence branches generally subtended by bracts ("inflorescence bracts"); peduncles present or 0; flower clusters in Eriogoneae-Eriogonoideae subtended by involucre of >= 1 free or +- fused, sometimes awn-tipped bracts ("involucre bracts") or, in Polygonoideae and rarely in Eriogonoideae, not (if bracts completely fused, involucre "tubular"); pedicels in Eriogoneae each often subtended by 2 free, transparent, linear bractlets or in Polygonoideae all subtended by 2+ fused, membranous, wide bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, small, 1--200 per node; perianth parts 2--6, generally in 2 whorls, free or basally fused, generally petal-like, often +- concave adaxially, often darker at midvein, often turning +- red or +- brown in age; stamens [1]3 or 6--9 in 2 whorls; ovary superior, 1-chambered, ovule 1, styles 1--3. Fruit: achenes, included in or exserted from perianth, generally 3-angled, ovoid or elliptic, generally glabrous.
Genera In Family: 48 genera, +- 1200 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate; some cultivated for food (Coccoloba, sea-grape; Fagopyrum, Rheum, Rumex) or ornamental (Antigonon, lovechain; Coccoloba; Muehlenbeckia; Persicaria; Polygonum), a few timbered (Coccoloba; Triplaris). Several (Emex; Fallopia; Persicaria; Polygonum; Rumex) are weeds. Note: Treatment of genera in Eriogonoideae based on monographic work of James L. Reveal. Involucre number throughout is number (1--many) per ultimate grouping, at tips of ultimate branches; flower number is per flower cluster or involucre, unless otherwise stated. Fagopyrum esculentum Moench not naturalized, considered an historical waif (or garden weed +- presently), therefore not treated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: RumexView DescriptionDichotomous Key


Common Name: DOCK
Habit: Annual to perennial herb; glabrous or papillate and hairy; rhizomed, stoloned, or generally from taproot with a short caudex; occasionally dioecious. Stem: prostrate, decumbent, or generally erect to ascending, often +- ridged, red-brown in fruit, nodes +- swollen. Leaf: generally basal and cauline, alternate, petioled except uppermost cauline; ocreae deciduous to persistent. Inflorescence: axillary or generally terminal, generally panicle-like. Flower: generally bisexual, bell-shaped, glabrous, green, +- pink, or red; perianth lobes 6, persistent, in fruit outer 3 +- inconspicuous, inner 3 enlarged, hardened, +- veiny, covering fruit, midrib of 1--3 often expanded into tubercle; stamens 6; stigmas 3, fringed. Fruit: achene, glabrous, +- black or dark brown to +- red.
Species In Genus: 190--200 species: +- worldwide, 63 in North America. Etymology: (Latin: sorrel) Note: Mature inner perianth lobes generally needed for identification. Species often hybridize.
eFlora Treatment Author: Scott Simono
Rumex obtusifolius L.
NATURALIZED
Habit: Perennial herb, glabrous, papillate or not; taproot vertical. Stem: 6--12(15) dm, generally branched. Leaf: blade 20--40 cm, 10--15 cm wide, widely ovate to oblong, base generally cordate, margin generally entire, flat, tip obtuse to +- acute. Inflorescence: terminal, open, interrupted below, branches generally ascending; whorls 10--25-flowered; pedicels 2.5--8.5(10) mm, thread-like, joints swollen. Flower: inner perianth lobe 3--6 mm, 2--3.5 mm wide except teeth, triangular to narrowly ovate-triangular, base truncate, margin generally dentate with teeth 2--5, 0.5--1.8 mm, tip obtuse to +- acute; tubercles 3, 1 larger, or generally 1, smooth. Fruit: 2--2.7 mm, 1.2--1.7 mm wide, brown to red-brown. Chromosomes: 2n=40.
Ecology: Moist places; Elevation: < 2000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, NCoRO, n SN, GV, CCo, SnFrB, SCo, expected elsewhere; Distribution Outside California: throughout North America; native to Europe, western Asia. Flowering Time: May--Sep Note: Hybridizes with Rumex crispus, other Europe species.
Synonyms: Rumex obtusifolius subsp. agrestis (Fr.) Danser
Jepson eFlora Author: Scott Simono
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Rumex lacustris
Next taxon: Rumex occidentalis

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Botanical illustration including Rumex obtusifolius

botanical illustration including Rumex obtusifolius

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Citation for this treatment: Scott Simono 2012, Rumex obtusifolius, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=42409, accessed on August 07, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora, https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on August 07, 2020.

Rumex obtusifolius
click for enlargement
© 2009 Vernon Smith
Rumex obtusifolius
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© 2019 Neal Kramer
Rumex obtusifolius
click for enlargement
© 2009 Vernon Smith

More photos of Rumex obtusifolius in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Rumex obtusifolius:
NCo, NCoRO, n SN, GV, CCo, SnFrB, SCo, expected elsewhere
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).





 

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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).