Wild Dock and Wild Sorrel
Rumex crispus and Rumex acetosella
Wild dock is a stout plant with most of its leaves at the
base of its stem that is commonly 15 to 30 centimeters brig.
The plants usually develop from a strong, fleshy, carrot like
tap root. Its flowers are usually very small, growing in green
to purplish plume like clusters. Wild sorrel similar to the wild
dock but smaller. Many of the basal leaves are arrow-shaped but
smaller than those of the dock and contain a sour juice.
Habitat and Distribution
These plants can be found in almost all climatic zones of
the world, in areas of high as well as low rainfall. Many kinds
are found as weeds in fields, along roadsides, and in waste places.
Because of tender nature of the foliage, the sorrel and the
dock are useful plants, especially in desert areas. You can eat
their succulent leaves fresh or slightly cooked. To take away
the strong taste, change the water once or twice during cooking.
This latter tip is a useful hint in preparing many kinds of wild
Wild dock and sorrel are common plants, and can provide a
lot of food value, if you can get rid of the bitterness they
sometimes have. Younger plants, and plants collected earlier
in the season are less bitter.
The seeds can be stripped from the seed heads and winnowed
to get at the small kernels. It's a difficult process, but there
are usually many seeds on each plant. These are cooked as a mush,
or used to thicken soups.
Some people believe tea made of wild dock roots can help the
body get rid of heavy metals, such as lead and arsenic.