Rumex tenax Rech.f.

Narrow-leaf Dock

Oesterr. Bot. Z. 84: 40 (1935) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Perennial with 1–several erect, simple or narrowly to somewhat divaricately branched stems to c. 50 cm high. Petioles of basal leaves shorter than or subequal to lamina; lamina linear to oblong, 8–16 cm long, 3–5 mm wide (occasionally the bases dilated to c. 1 cm wide), truncate or broad-cuneate at base; margins flat or minutely crisped; upper leaves smaller, very narrow, and more or less sessile. Inflorescence to c. 40 cm long, 20 cm wide; flower 'whorls' mostly 1–5 cm apart, many-flowered, each subtended by a leaf. Fruiting valves c. triangular, 2.5–4 mm long, c. 1.5 mm wide (excluding teeth), reticulate-foveate, 1–2-toothed near base; callosities present on each valve, to c. half as long as valve; fruiting pedicel subequal to valves, often slightly swollen just below fruit, jointed near base. Nut 1.5–2 mm long. Flowers Sep.–Jan.

Glep, Gold, LoM, MuF, MuM, MSB, NIS, OtP, RobP, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Also WA, SA, Qld, NSW. Occasional on seasonally flooded or winter-wet clayey soils in northern Victoria (particularly along the Murray River floodplain), with a remarkably disjunct occurrence at Laverton, just west of Melbourne.

Hybridizes with R. brownii. Although Rechinger (1984) describes the fruiting valves of R. tenax as having a single tooth on each margin, numerous specimens at MEL, determined by Rechinger, have 2 distinct teeth per valve. Some, but doubtfully all, of these may be the result of hybridization, hence the slightly expanded circumscription of R. tenax here.

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.
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 tenax in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Rumex tenax in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Otway Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native

State distribution

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