Rumex crispus also known as narrow leaved dock and yellow dock is a very wide spread plant and is part of the Buckwheat family. Known to most as a bothersome weed you can guarantee this plant to be found just about anywhere in the world. Curled Dock is native to Asia and Europe and introduced buy early Europeans to the new world.
This plant is considered ugly by most and is seen as an eyesore. It is a deep green plant with lanceolate leaves that are somewhat heart shaped at the base. The leaves can be anywhere from 6 inches or up to a foot long with smaller almost wavy leaves growing from the smooth stem. The stem grows from the center of the larger basal leaves. The plant blooms are flat, round, green and are arranged in panicled racemes.
The leaves of the curled dock are edible cooked and should be gathered in spring while young. The leaves are eaten parboiled and can often be slightly bitter. Boil in two changes of water to rid it of bitterness.
Yellow dock is also a widely used medicinal herb. It is said to be a great liver tonic and will aid in the skin color associated with liver problems. It is also a great treatment for anemia due to its high iron content. It is helpful in the treatment of many blood disorders and skin conditions including scurvy.