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Useful Temperate Plants

Rumex pulcher

L.

Polygonaceae

+ Synonyms

Lapathum pulchrum (L.) Moench

Lapathum sinuatum (L.) Lam.

Rumex foveolatus Hochst.

Rumex muelleri Meisn.

Rumex oxysepalus Meisn.

Rumex sinuatus L.

Rumex suffocatus Moris ex Bertol.

Rumex tuberculatus K.Koch

Common Name: Fiddle Dock

No Image.

General Information

Rumex pulcher is a perennial plant growing from a spindle-shaped vertical rootstock; the erect stems can grow around 20 - 60cm tall[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Rumex pulcher has been spread by human activity and has become naturalized far beyond its original native range.

Known Hazards

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[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Range

Europe - Britain to Spain, east to Romania, Bulgaria and Greece; W. Asia - Turkey, the Levant, Iran and Turkmenistan; N. Africa - Morocco to Egypt

Habitat

Dry sunny habitats in sandy soils, occasionally on chalk and limestone[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
]. Waste places, roadsides, shores, fields, meadows, moist to dry habitats; at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *
HabitPerennial
Height0.50 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Species in this genus generally succeed in a variety of soils, but they prefer deep fertile moderately heavy soils that are humus-rich, moisture-retentive and also well-drained, with a position in full-sun or part shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Being wind -pollinated, Rumex species usually hybridize readily, especially with other members of the genus they are more closely related to[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Rumex pulcher is an extremely polymorphic species consisting of five or six more or less distinct subspecies[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. Added to salads, they have an acid flavour[
217
Title
Les Salades Sauvages
Publication
 
Author
Les Ecologistes de l'Euzière
Publisher
Not given.
Year
1994
ISBN
2-906128-04-X
Description
A lovely little book about some wild salads in France. Written in French.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

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[
168
Title
Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Grae. I.
Publisher
MacMillan Publishing Co. New York.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-02-544950-8
Description
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
].

Propagation

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.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-08-16. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Rumex+pulcher>

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