Rumex obtusifolius – Broad-leaved dock

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Broad-leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) is a non-native perennial that is related to buckwheat. It can be found in lawns, fields, and disturbed grounds.
Broad-leaved dock is named after its broad, oval leaves. The plant produces small green flowers that grow in clusters at the top of the plant. These become brown, papery seeds in late summer. The seeds usually stay on the stalks until early spring.
Seeds are ready to harvest when they are brown, dry, and papery. Seeds can be stripped off the stem and placed in the sun to allow insects to scatter. Seeds can then be roasted for a few minutes to give them a nutty flavor. Whole seeds can be used in crackers. Seeds can also be ground for use in brownies, pasta, or bread. The seeds have a heavy texture and a lot of fiber.
Broad-leaved dock seeds have also been used medicinally to treat colds, coughs, and bronchitis.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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