Curled Dock

Curled dock seedling
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Curled dock seedling Young curled dock plant Curled dock leaf margin Curled dock stem
Curled dock buds Curled dock flower Curled dock flowering plant Mature curled dock plant Ditch with curled dock
Curled dock roots Curled dock ochrea Curled dock seed head Curled dock seed


This is a perennial weed, reproducing primarily by seeds, but also by taproot fragments. Curled dock is a prolific seed producer. The stems are erect, 0.6-1.5 m tall, and smooth with swollen nodes. One or more stems may arise from the crown. Leaves are long and narrow, up to 30 cm in length, with curly margins and a prominent midvein. The base of each leaf has an ocrea, membranous sheath, which becomes papery and brown as the plant matures. Lower leaves form a rosette. Stem leaves are alternate and decrease in size towards the top of the plant. The flowers are small, dense, green when young but brown at maturity, and occur as terminal and axillary clusters along the upper parts of stems and branches. Easily spotted in winter because the mature inflorescence sticks through the snow as a reddish brown skeleton. Seed pods are small, reddish-brown, triangular, and contain 3 seeds 3-5 mm long

Scouting Techniques

Take a minimum of 20 weed counts across the field. Scout ditches, pastures, field borders, and orchards for patches of this weed.

Threshold/Yield Loss

A common contaminant in cereal crop seed.

Control Tips

  • cultivation
  • Group 9 in herbicide tolerant crops
  • Group 4