Rumex spiralis


Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 22: 44, plate 228. 1895.

Common names: Spiral tall dock
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 5. Treatment on page 507. Mentioned on page 492.

Plants perennial, glabrous, with creeping rhizomes. Stems ascending or erect, usually producing axillary shoots below 1st-order inflorescence or at proximal nodes, 50–90 cm. Leaf blades ovate-lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate, or lanceolate, 10–15 × 3–5.5 cm, usually 2.5–3.5 times as long as wide, widest in proximal 1/3, thick, usually not coriaceous, base broadly cuneate, truncate, or rounded, margins entire, flat or slightly undulate-crisped, apex acute or attenuate. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, terminal usually occupying distal 1/2 of stem, dense, narrowly to broadly paniculate (branches usually simple). Pedicels articulated in proximal 1/3, thin but slightly thickened distally, (2–)3–7(–8) mm, usually as long as or shorter than inner tepals, articulation slightly swollen. Flowers 12–20 in whorls; inner tepals broadly cordate or broadly ovate-deltoid, 7–10 × 8–12 mm, base deeply and broadly cordate, margins entire, apex acuminate; tubercles 3, equal or subequal, usually minutely to distinctly rugose. Achenes brown or dark reddish brown, 2.5–3.5 × 2–2.5 mm. 2n = 20.

Phenology: Flowering spring.
Habitat: Sandy and gravelly shores
Elevation: 0-200 m


Rumex spiralis is related to R. altissimus; however, it is geographically restricted and morphologically distinct. It has inner tepals larger than those of any other member of subsect. Salicifolii and distinctly wider leaves.

Selected References


Lower Taxa