Canaigre (Dock; Wild Rhubarb; Sorrel)
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
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?
The dirt is alive! A living crust called "Biological Soil Crust" covers much of Arches and the surrounding area. Composed of algae, lichens and bacteria, this crust provides a secure foundation for desert plants. Please stay on roads and trails to avoid trampling this important resource. More...