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Rumex obtusifolius L.
Family Polygonaceae
Common name: Broadleaf Dock

Rumex obtusifolius L. APNI*

Description: Perennial 60–100 cm high, branching from about the middle; not rooting at nodes.

Basal leaves with petiole usually longer than lamina, stem leaves with shorter petiole; lamina oblong-ovate, to 23 cm long, to 10 cm wide, flat, apex obtuse or broad-acuminate, base cordate.

Flower whorls ± close together, without subtending leaf, each 15–40-flowered.

Fruiting valves 3.5–6 mm long, usually with 2 or 3 teeth in lower half. Fruiting pedicels slender, at least twice as long as valves, articulate in lower half.


Distribution and occurrence: Naturalised sporadically along the coast and tableland regions of NSW, also at Walgett in NWP; also in Vic, Tas, SA and SW WA. Native of Eur. & SW Asia.

Open weedy places.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *SWS, *NWP
Other Australian states: *Vic. *Tas. *S.A. *W.A.
AVH map***

A polymorphic species, with four subspecies, the most common being the typical subspecies, which is what most or all Australian occurrences can be referred to. However, subspecific delimitation still needs clarifying for some Australian specimens so no subspecies are used here. Hybrids between this species and R. crispus occur. See also Weeds in Australia profile compiled by K.L. Wilson & P.G. Kodela (2007).

Text by K. L. Wilson (1990); edited KL Wilson (6 July 2007; May 2018)
Taxon concept: KL Wilson in Flora NSW vol. 1 (1990) and Fl. Australia (submitted)


APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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