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Dock, Western

Culinary & Medicinal Herb Seeds

We carry a diverse variety of herb seeds, including culinary herbs, medicinals, ethnobotanicals, native plants of the PNW, and nectar and pollen rich flowers attractive to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. All varieties are open pollinated, we do not sell hybrid seeds. Average seed life is 3 years. Please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping.

Dock, Western

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Dock, Western

3.75

(Rumex occidentalis)

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Common Names
Western Dock, Dock.

Botanical Name
Rumex occidentalis

Plant Family
Polygonaceae (Knotweed Family)

Life Cycle
Perennial

Native Range
PNW from Alaska down through California.

Hardiness Zone
3-9

Habit
A low growing basal rosette of leaves grows upward to 1.5ft in bloom. Plants display multi-stemmed flower stalks with unusual small light green or pale yellow flowers followed by seeds borne in papery coverings turning from pale green to reddish brown when mature. 

Sun/Soil
Part to full sun, does well in moist heavy clay soils where it’s large taproot breaks up soil and sequesters the minerals out of the nutrient rich clay. In the wild Western Dock is makes its home on moist forest edges and shady roadsides.

Germination/Sowing
The seeds germinate easily and can be direct sown in spring or fall. They may also be started in flats but it is best to transplant them before they begin to develop their large taproot to prevent plant stress.

Growing/Care 
Needs little to no care. The flower stalks can be cut back to prevent self-seeding.

Harvesting
The leaves can be harvested through the spring for culinary use, and are best for medicine in the summer when the plants are in bloom. The roots can be dug in the fall or winter. They are best used dried, as the fresh root can be more strongly laxative.

Culinary Uses
Like other Rumex species such as the yummy Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) and Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa), the new leaves of Dock are edible and tasty. They can be eaten fresh or as a braising green, but as they mature they become more astringent and bitter making them less palatable.

Medicinal Uses
Dock root is a wonderful liver-supporting herb. Through its influence on the liver it helps to clear the skin, balance hormones, and purify the blood of toxins. The root promotes the flow of bile to relieve congestion in the liver and gallbladder. Not only is the root rich in iron but it also helps to improve the absorption of iron by the body.

The leaves also have a topical application for inflammation, and the relief of itching and sores. 

Themes
Woodland Garden, Deer Resistant, Native Plant Garden, Wild Foraging, Low Maintenance.