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
Rumex pulcher is a perennial plant growing from a spindle-shaped vertical rootstock; the erect stems can grow around 20 - 60cm tall[
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.
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[
Europe - Britain to Spain, east to Romania, Bulgaria and Greece; W. Asia - Turkey, the Levant, Iran and Turkmenistan; N. Africa - Morocco to Egypt
Dry sunny habitats in sandy soils, occasionally on chalk and limestone[
]. Waste places, roadsides, shores, fields, meadows, moist to dry habitats; at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
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[
Being wind -pollinated, Rumex species usually hybridize readily, especially with other members of the genus they are more closely related to[
Rumex pulcher is an extremely polymorphic species consisting of five or six more or less distinct subspecies[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Added to salads, they have an acid flavour[
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[
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.