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Useful Temperate Plants

Rumex bucephalophorus

L.

Polygonaceae

+ Synonyms

Acetosa aculeata Chaz.

Acetosa bucephalophora (L.) Fourr.

Bucephalophora aculeata Pau

Lapathum bucephalophorum (L.) Lam.

Lapathum bucephalorum Moench

Rumex aculeatus L.

Rumex creticus Campd.

Rumex leucocephalus Schult. & Schult.f.

Rumex membranosus Poir.

Rumex platycarpus Batt.

Common Name: Ruby Dock

No Image.

General Information

Rumex bucephalophorus is an annual to occasionally biennial or even short-lived perennial plant growing from a short, spindle-shaped rootstock; the slender stems are branched at or near the base, they can grow around 5 - 50cm 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.

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

50
Title
Flora Europaea
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1964
ISBN
-
Description
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for Europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.

Range

Most of the Mediterranean region, but absent from much of the Balkans and most of Egypt

Habitat

Sandy and rocky places, especially by the sea[
50
Title
Flora Europaea
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1964
ISBN
-
Description
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for Europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
HabitAnnual/Perennial
Height0.35 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.
]. This species is likely to be tolerant of maritime exposure and of dry soils.
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.
]..

Edible Uses

We have a note that the plant is eaten cooked, but the part of the plant is not mentioned[
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.
].

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. 2022-09-29. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Rumex+bucephalophorus>

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