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Canaigre (Dock; Wild Rhubarb; Sorrel)

Rumex hymenosepalus

Rumex hymenosepalus

Family: Polygonaceae – Buckwheat Family

Perennial herbs from tuberous roots; 8” to 3.3' (2 to 10 dm) tall

Leaves: alternate; simple; 3.2” to 10” (8 to 25 cm) long, 0.8” to 4.8” (2 to 12 cm) wide

Flowers: 0 petals; 6 petaloid or sepaloid sepals, rarely 4 (the 3 inner segments form papery wings surrounding the fruit); stamens usually 6; 1 pistil; small flowers in clusters usually greenish to pinkish; flower cluster 4” to 16” (10 to 40 cm) long

Pollinators: wind

Fruits: achene

Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub communities

Location seen: widespread along park road, across from Park Avenue parking lot, Fiery Furnace parking lot

Other: The genus name, “Rumex”, is the ancient Latin name for docks and sorrel plants. The species name, “hymenosepalus”, means “membranous sepals” and refers to the 3 inner segments that become papery when the plant is in fruit.

This family's scientific name, “Polygonaceae”, is derived from the Greek words “poly” which means "many" and “goni” which means "joint", a reference to many species that have swollen nodes or joints.

Did You Know?

Common Raven

The common raven displays abilities to play and problem-solve that are rare among animals. This member of the crow family is also very vocal, communicating with over a dozen sounds. Perhaps because of these qualities, ravens have achieved a certain stature in both European and Native American folklore.