Curly dock (Rumex crispus ) is a perennial broadleaf weed. Curly dock is found virtually everywhere in the world, naturalized and in some places invasive.
Curly dock Identifying Characteristics
Height: 5 ft (1.5 m)
Flowers: Greenish to reddish-brown clusters of sepals, along the upper portion of the elongating stem.
Leaves: Ground-level leaves are dark green to reddish-purple (as they age), rosette-style, petioled, hairless, alternately arranged leaves with wavy margins. Leaves along the stem are alternatively arranged with a membranous sheath.
Fruit: Triangula-shaped, brown to reddish brown, glossy achenes; surrounded by a papery 3-valved or 2-winged structure.
Stems: Typically reddish, thick, hairless, ridged, and unbranched.
Root system: Large, yellow to orangish, fleshy taproots.
All parts of curly dock are toxic to horses as it has the ability to accumulate high levels of nitrates and oxalates.
MECHANICAL CONTROL: Mowing will prevent seed production and reduce top growth. Tillage that completely destroys the taproot is effective.
CHEMICAL CONTROL: If applied in the spring it will control seedling plants. Herbicide application in the fall is the best timing for controlling established plants. Herbicides that contain glyphosate (> 1.25lb ae/A at bud to early flower stage or in the fall after a light frost); thifensulfuron (>0.33 oz ai/A); tribenuron (>0.1875 oz ai/A) plus thifensulfuron 2,4-D, or MCPA, aminopyralid, bromoxynil, or clopyralid are effective at controlling curly dock.