Rumex dumosus A.Cunn. ex Meisn.

Wiry Dock

in DC., Prodr. 14: 62 (1856) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Perennial with several flexuose, divaricately branched stems to c. 60 cm high, the inflorescence breaking off near base and dispersing as a tumbleweed. Basal leaves with petioles usually longer than lamina; lamina c. oblong, 8–20 cm long, 1–3 cm wide, often slightly dilated in lower part, more or less truncate at base; margins usually irregularly sinuate and finely crisped; leaves within inflorescence sparse, reduced and soon withering. Inflorescence to c. 50 cm long, 40 cm wide; flower 'whorls' mostly 2–8 cm apart, usually only 3–5-flowered. Fruiting valves triangular, 3–5 mm long, 2–3 mm wide (excluding teeth), prominently reticulate, with 2–3 stiff marginal teeth toward base; callosities absent to weakly developed on midrib near base; fruiting pedicel shorter than to c. twice as long as valves (often of different lengths within one 'whorl'), jointed at or below midway. Nut 2.5–3.5 mm long. Flowers Sep.–Jan.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, LoM, MuF, MuM, NIS, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Also WA, SA, Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. Rarely naturalised in Europe from seed inadvertently imported with wool from Australia. Locally fairly common in plains country on heavy clayey soils north and west of Melbourne (e.g. Sydenham, Woorndoo, Echuca, Nathalia, Wangratta), rarer on lake-beds and depressions in mallee country (e.g. Wyperfeld and Hattah-Kulkyne National Parks).

Rumex dumosus var. dumosiformis (Rech. f.) Rech. f. is supposedly distinguished from the typical variety in having at least one of the fruiting valves developing a callosity. As this feature is commonly variable in Rumex, and is only ever weakly developed in R. dumosus, the varieties are not recognized here. See also notes under other species.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Polygonaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-12-04
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
family Polygonaceae
genus Rumex
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Rumex dumosus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Rumex dumosus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory