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Rumex hymenosepalus
Rumex hymenosepalus (Wild Rhubarb)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Desert, semi-desert. Sand. Spring.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, April 19, 2010.

It is common to find Rumex hymenosepalus adjacent to Anasazi ruins.

Rumex hymenosepalus
Rumex hymenosepalus (Wild Rhubarb)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Desert, semi-desert. Sand. Spring.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, April 7, 2004.

Rumex hymenosepalus grows very large basal leaves very quickly early in the spring.  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.  A number of species of Rumex are found in Canyon Country and were probably a common food for the Anasazi.

The genus Rumex was named by Linnaeus in 1753 and John Torrey named this species in 1859.  "Rumex" is the classical Latin name for the plant and "hymenosepalus" means "membranous sepals". 

The genus is found throughout the United States and Canada and nearly worldwide.

Rumex hymenosepalus

Rumex hymenosepalus

Rumex hymenosepalus (Wild Rhubarb)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Desert, semi-desert. Sand. Spring.
Canyonlands National Park, Confluence Trail, May 20, 2004
and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, April 29, 2013.

Rumex hymenosepalus

Rumex hymenosepalus

Rumex hymenosepalus (Wild Rhubarb)
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Desert, semi-desert. Sand. Spring.
McElmo Canyon, March 9, 2016 and March 24, 2009.

Flowers are colorful browns, tans, yellows, greens, and reds.

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

Range map for  Rumex hymenosepalus