Rumex pulcher subsp. pulcher

Fiddle Dock

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Perennial with spreading to ascending stems to c. 60 cm high, often branched near base. Basal leaves with petioles shorter than or subequal to lamina; lamina oblong-ovate, 4–12(–20) cm long, 3–6 cm wide, cordate at base, often constricted below the middle; margins often undulate; upper leaves with non-cordate bases, short-petiolate to sessile. Inflorescence branches usually widely spreading, simple or again branched; flower 'whorls' separated by c. 1–4 cm, most subtended by a small leaf (often withered at time of fruiting). Fruiting valves ovate to broadly triangular, 3–6 mm long, 2–4.5 mm wide (excluding teeth), thick, reticulate-foveate, with (3–)4–6 stiff teeth along each margin; callosities tuberculate, usually present on all valves but often unequal, up to c. two-thirds as long as valve; fruiting pedicel thick, shorter than to equal to valves, jointed between the lower third and midway but not readily disarticulating. Nut 2–3.5 mm long.  Flowers mainly Sep.–Jan.

*CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *MuF, *MuM, *NIS, *OtP, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim.  Native to the Mediterranean region and south-west Asia.  Except for the far north-west and drier parts of the Great Dividing Range, widespread but scattered through much of the State in damp weedy depressions and along watercourses.

Rechinger (1984) records 1 specimen of R. pulcher subsp. divaricatus L. from Melbourne (collected 1910). The specimen on which this record is based, however, is fragmentary, probably a mixture of species, and generally insufficient to ascribe confidently to either subspecies. Subsp. divaricatus differs from subsp. pulcher in its basal leaves normally not constricted, and in the relatively broader fruiting valves with more irregular marginal teeth. In the same article, Rechinger acknowledges the ‘distinction between the two subspecies appears to be less clear in … Australia than in the Mediterranean’.

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: Frank Udovicic, 2014-11-18
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 pulcher subsp. pulcher in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Rumex pulcher subsp. pulcher in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised
Victorian Alps present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales