Herb: Red-Veined Dock

Latin name: Rumex sanguineus

Synonyms: Rumex condylodes, Rumex nemerosus, Rumex sanguinea

Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Medicinal use of Red-Veined Dock:

The root is astringent. An infusion is useful in the treatment of bleeding. The root is harvested in early spring and dried for later use. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of several skin diseases.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Waste ground, grassy places and in woods, avoiding acid soils.

Edible parts of Red-Veined Dock:

Young leaves - raw or cooked. A spinach substitute. A fairly mild flavour when young, they make a very acceptable spinach at this time and can also be added in moderation to mixed salads. The leaves soon become bitter with age.

Other uses of the herb:

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 Red-Veined Dock:

Seed - sow spring in situ. Division in spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Waste ground, grassy places and in woods, avoiding acid soils.

Known hazards of Rumex sanguineus:

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.