Herb: Swamp Dock
Latin name: Rumex brownii
Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)
Edible parts of Swamp Dock:Leaves - cooked. The leaves can be up to 30cm long and, cooked with their midrib removed, they make a fine substitute for leaf beet. The roasted root is a coffee substitute
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Moist places such as the banks of creeks, often in clay soils, in the montane and sub-alpine zones. Often found as a weed of damp lawns and pastures in Australia.
Other uses of Swamp Dock:A rich yellow dye is obtained from the root if it is fixed with alum. Although no specific mention has been made for this species, dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots of many species in this genus, They do not need a mordant.
Propagation of the herb:Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring.
Cultivation of Swamp Dock:Moist places such as the banks of creeks, often in clay soils, in the montane and sub-alpine zones. Often found as a weed of damp lawns and pastures in Australia.
Medicinal use of the herb:None known
Known hazards of Rumex brownii:Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.