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Rumex densiflorus
Rumex densiflorus (Dense-flower Dock, Alpine Dock)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Montane to alpine. Moist meadows. Summer.
Cross Mountain Trail, June 21, 2012.

It is common to find Rumex densiflorus in large colonies.

Rumex densiflorus

Rumex densiflorus (Dense-flower Dock, Alpine Dock)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Montane to alpine. Moist meadows. Summer.
Cross Mountain Trail, June 21, 2012.

Rumex densiflorus grows very large, upright basal leaves just after snow melt.   Then a tall, stout flower stalk follows with tiny green/red/yellow flowers that are replaced by showy pink/red/brown seed pods. 

Early leaves of this and related Rumex species are palatable as a potherb, giving rise to the "Wild Rhubarb" common name.  Leaves persist through the summer but toughen with age.

The genus Rumex was named by Linnaeus in 1753 and George Osterhout named this species in 1898.  "Rumex" is the classical Latin name for the plant and "densiflorus" means "densely flowered". 

This species is found primarily in Colorado with scattered records in nearby mountainous states. The genus is found nearly worldwide and throughout the United States and Canada.

Rumex densiflorus

Rumex densiflorus

Rumex densiflorus (Dense-flower Dock, Alpine Dock)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Montane to alpine. Moist meadows. Summer.
Cross Mountain Trail, June 21, 2012; July 15, 2013; and August 8, 2007.

In a few weeks, dense heads of flowers turn to dense heads of seeds.

                            Rumex densiflorus

Rumex densiflorus

Rumex densiflorus

Rumex densiflorus (Dense-flower Dock, Alpine Dock)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Montane to alpine. Moist meadows. Summer.
Lizard Head Pass, June 17, 2013 and Cross Mountain Trail, June 21, 2012.

Two-to-six inch long young leaves quickly grow to about thirteen inches.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Rumex densiflorus

Range map for  Rumex densiflorus