Broadleaf Dock

Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Broadleaf dock with flowering stalks.
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Plants form a rosette of foliage that lays prostrate to the ground.
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
First true leaves are chordate or heart shaped.
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Leaves are dark green and have a reddish mid-rib.
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Broadleaf dock has a calyx with what appears to be horns, or spines, along the margin.
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Rumex obtusifolius
Family: 
Polygonaceae
Life cycle: 
Perennial
Habit: 
Broadleaf dock habit is a large mound of foliage. Initially, plants form a rosette of foliage that lays prostrate to the ground. Mature clumps are generally 12 to 18 inches tall and wide the first year. After the second year, the plant continues growth and can become 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.
Flowers: 
Broadleaf dock flowers occur in long panicles on erect stalks that grow above the foliage. Flowers are green, inconspicuous and densely packed in terminal clusters. With magnification, you can see 6 stamen and 3 styles in each flower. When flowers mature they become brown and remain throughout the winter.
Favorable environments: 
Field
Favorable environment notes: 
Broadleaf dock is commonly found in fields, meadows and pasture lands. It favors wet or poorly drained areas of undisturbed soils such as ditches and roadsides. Establishment often occurs best where there are bare patches. In nurseries, broadleaf dock can often persists near permanent set irrigation lines that leak and around facilities, including the perimeter of greenhouses and buildings.
Dissemination: 
Broadleaf dock reproduces mainly by seed. Each seed is tiny, reddish-brown and triangular shaped. Wind and water aid in seed dispersal. It is possible for plants to regrow from shoot buds located in the top three inches of the tap root.
Of interest: 
A single plant can produce up to 60,000 seeds. And because seeds remain viable in the soil for many years, control of seed production is very important.