Rumex alcockii Rech.f.
Rumex brownianus Schult. & Schult.f.
Rumex fimbriatus R.Br.
Common Name: Swamp Dock
Rumex brownii is a perennial plant with slender, erect stems; it can grow 50 - 80cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials. It is cultivated locally in New Caledonia for its edible leaves[
Native to mainland Australia and New Guinea, the plant has spread as a weed (probably by seed carried in clipped wool) and has become naturalized as a weed in several countries including New Zealand, Hawaii and the UK[
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[
Australia - New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria. Casual in Britain[
Moist places such as the banks of creeks, often in clay soils, in the montane and sub-alpine zones[
]. Herbaceous understorey of woodlands, also often in disturbed habitats such as damp lawns and pastures, on various soils (loam to sandy)[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
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[
This species is sometimes introduced into Britain via bales of wool from Australia and it then persists for a few years[
Being wind -pollinated, Rumex species usually hybridize readily, especially with other members of the genus they are more closely related to[
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[
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[
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.