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The Plant Guide

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Bloody dock

Rumex sanguineus

ROO-meks san-GWIN-ee-us

Red-veined dock is a taprooted perennial with a rosette of leaves distinctively marked with deep red or purple veins. It is grown mostly as a foliage plant or ornamental vegetable, but it also produces erect stems of tiny, star-shaped green flowers that turn reddish brown. These are followed by dark brown fruit. Native to Europe, northern Africa, and southwest Asia.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsLeaves are intricately veined in blood-red or dark purple. All parts may cause mild stomach upset if eaten, and contact with the foliage may irritate skin.   

CareGrow in full sun and moderately fertile, well-drained soil.

PropagationSow seeds in situ in spring. Self-seeds freely.

ProblemsSlugs, snails, rust, smut, and leaf spots.

  • Genus : Rumex
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 6, 7, 8
  • Plant Width : 6 to 12 inches
  • Moisture : Adaptable
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Summer
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Flower Color : Red
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
View Comments


  1. user-7007015 06/15/2014

    Can you tell me what is causing brown spots on my rumex sanguineus

  2. petimegmondja 03/05/2017

    Young leaves are edible. Nice addition to salads. High in iron and vitamin C. Use like ruccola.

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