Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bitter Dock - Rumex obtusifolius   L.
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Section 6 » Order Polygonales » Family Polygonaceae
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AuthorL.
DistributionThroughout the state, though absent on the Outer Banks and adjacent coastal areas.

Native of Europe and western Asia; in N.A. most of southern and maritime Canada and throughout the US.
AbundanceFrequent to common in the Coastal Plain and Mountains; frequent in the Piedmont. Scarce in the Sandhills proper and absent from the Outer Banks and barrier islands.
HabitatMoist to mesic soils of roadsides, fields, meadows, barnyards, pastures, ditches, disturbed marshes, margins of impoundments, near creeks and rivers.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April-August.
IdentificationThis dock has on average the broadest leaves of any of our Rumex species. The stems grow 2-4 feet tall. The fruits have a few to several prominent teeth on the margins, unlike most of our Rumex. From R. pulcher it may be told by larger leaves and smooth tubercles on the fruit (vs. warty in R. pulcher).
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State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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