Scientific Name: Rumex hymenosepalus
Common Names: Canaigre Dock, Desert Rhubarb, Wild Rhubarb, Sand Dock
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert, Upland. This plant grows in and along sandy washes.
Flower Color: Dusty rose to greenish pink, Green with a pink tinge
Flowering Season: Spring
Height: To 2 1/2 feet (76 cm) tall
Description: The flowers are densely clustered in erect, narrow, terminal panicles. The individual flowers are tiny and have 6 tepals (3 inner and 3 outer). The 3 inner tepals enlarge as the winged, three-sided, dull pink, heart-shaped fruit forms. The leaves have sheath-like stipules and are fleshy, dark green, lanceolate to oblong in shape, 1 foot (30 cm) long, and mostly basal or found on the lower part of the short stems. The stems have swollen joints and are fleshy, upright, and often red-tinged. The roots are tuber-like, rich in tannin, and can be used to make fabric dyes.
Allergenic – The pollen is a moderate allergen.
Edible – The leaves and rhubarb-like stems are edible if cooked to remove some of the oxalic acid. These plants are high in soluble oxalates, so they should only be eaten in limited amounts.
Poisonous – The plants contain high levels of oxalic acid and can sicken livestock.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Polygonaceae – Buckwheat family
Genus: Rumex L. – dock
Species: Rumex hymenosepalus Torr. – canaigre dock
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