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Wild Dock and Wild Sorrel

Wild Dock and Wild Sorrel

Rumex crispus and Rumex acetosella

Description

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.

Edible Parts

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 greens.

Steve's notes:

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.



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The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Wild Dock and Wild Sorrel