Global invasive species database

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Common name
narrowleaf dock (English), acedera crespa (Spanish), krultongblaar (Afrikaans, South Africa), curley dock (English), sour dock (English), nagaba-gishi-gishi (Japanese), weeblaar (Afrikaans, South Africa), zhou ye suan mo (French), reguette (French), língua-de-vaca (Portuguese, Brazil), labaça-crespa (Portuguese, Brazil), labaça-selvagem (Portuguese, Brazil), patience crépu (French), rumex crépu (French), herbe patience (French), oseille (French), patience (French), curled dock (English), acedera crispada (Spanish), romaza crespa (Spanish), gualtata (Spanish), vinagrillo (Spanish), Krauser Ampfer (German), acelgas (Spanish), lengua de caballo (Spanish), romaza (Spanish), oseille crépu (French), lengua de vaca (Spanish), curly dock (English), yellow dock (English), paciência (Portuguese, Brazil)
Synonym
Similar species
Summary
Curled dock (Rumex crispus) is a problematic weed throughout its native and introduced range. It is native to Europe and western Asia, but is now present on all continents and is considered one of the five most widely distributed plants in the world. It is a major weed in agricultural areas.
Species Description
Rumex crispus is a perennial herb with erect flowering stems 30-160 cm in length. Basal leaves up to 40 cm x 11 cm, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate in shape, subacute, tapering from middle to an obtuse point. Upper cauline leaves are less crisped than basal leaves, with petioles up to 6 cm in length. Leaf margins of cauline leaves vary from nearly flat (such as in var. uliginosus) to strongly crisped. It has a fleshy taproot which is smaller and less branched than that of R. obtusifolius. The inflorescence is a panicle with few, short, erect branches. Flowers are crowded in whorls which are usually distinct except towards the ends of branches. Perianth (petals and sepals) segments are orbicular-deltoid in shape are green coloured at flowering but become brown. The inflorescence is a panicle with few, short, erect branches. Flowers are crowded in whorls which are usually distinct except towards the ends of the branches. One to three of perianth segments have tubercles (corky protuberance), usually one large and two minute. However in seashore varieties of R. crispus all three tubercles are usually equally developed (var. jittoerus and var. trigranulatus). The achene (fruit) is 3.5-6 x 3-6 mm and is enclosed within inner perianth segments. Margin of achene is entire or minutely denticulate. One thousand seed weight varies from 1 to 3 g. Seeds or maritime plants are usually heavier than those of inland forms (Cavers & Harper, 1964).
Notes
Rumex crispus is a highly variable species with many forms and varieties described. The two subspecies recorded for R. crispus are Rumex crispus ssp. crispus L. and subspecies R. crispus ssp. fauriei (Rech. f.) Mosyakin and W.L. Wagner. Interspecific hybrids are common between other species in the genus Rumex. Hybrids are usually recognisable by their failure to form fruits (Cavers & Harper, 1964).
Lifecycle Stages
Reproduces by seed and vegetatively. Flowers have no nectar and are usually wind pollinated, although bees sometimes visit flowers. Plants can be self-fertile. One seed is produced per achene (fruit), of which there can be twenty to fifty on each whorl of the panicle. The number of achenes per plant varies widely from less than 100 to over 40,000 (Cavers & Harper, 1964).

Seed dormancy of R. crispus is disputed in the literature. Viable seeds have been found after 80 years, 39 yeas and 60 years of burial in various studies (Reviewed in Cavers & Harper, 1964).

Uses
Rumex crispus has been used for medicinal purposes as a laxative, astringent, rheumatic tonic and to treat blood diseases, skin disease and jaundice. It can also be used for sore throats and coughs (Grieve, 1959 in Cavers & Harper, 1964).
Habitat Description
Rumex crispus is one of the five most widely distributed plants in the world. It is common on waste ground, grassland and shingle beaches. It is a very serious weed in agricultural land (Cavers & Harper, 1964). It is found in all types of crop, and is an early coloniser after disturbance. The maritime variety is an important component of tidal drift vegetation.

It is found on nearly all soil types, except highly acid soils. In general Rumex species prefer soil with high nitrogen, and grow faster than most other co-occurring species (Zaller, 2004). R. crispus has a lower requirement for soil nutrients than R. obtusifolius, but higher requirement for soil moisture (Zaller, 2004). Altitudinal limits around the world vary from 2300 m in the Middle East, 2520 m in New Mexico, 3000 m in Persia to 3500 m in Argentina (Cavers & Harper, 1964 and references therein). It appears to be unaffected by severe drought or frost. It can occur in waterlogged soils, but is less successful. It has low competitive ability as a seedling and cannot establish under closed communities (Cavers & Harper, 1964).

Reproduction
Curled leaf dock is a perennial plant, although sometimes behaves as an annual or biennial in arable land. Longevity of plants is unknown but is at least 3 years for inland and 5 years for maritime plants. Plants overwinter in the rosette stage, and regrowth occurs in early spring. Infloresences are formed in April or early May with flowering occuring from May until the first frosts occur in October or November.Some plants produce two sets of inflorescences, one in May and one in Autumn after the first seed set has been shed (Cavers & Harper, 1964).

Seeds can germinate in any month of the year, as long as conditions are not too dry or cold. After fruiting about half of plants die, while the other half produce a winter rosette (Lousley, 1944b in Cavers & Harper, 1964).

Pathway
Seeds may be dispersed when they adhere to clothes, machinary, fur of animals, feathers and on soil (Holm et al 1977).

Principal source: Cavers, P.B. & Harpeer, J.L. 1964. Rumex obtusifolius L. and R. crispus L. Journal of Ecology, 52(3): 737-766.
Zaller, J.G. 2004. Ecology and non-chemical control of Rumex crispus and R. obtusifolius (Polygonaceae): a review. Weed Research, 44: 414-432.

Compiler: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment

Review:

Publication date: 2010-06-08

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2017) Species profile: Rumex crispus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1652 on 18-12-2017.

General Impacts
Rumex crispus, along with R. obtusifolius are troublesome weeds in grasslands, pastures and arable land. In agricultural areas R. crispus competes with sown or native pasture species and arable crops. They also occupy area which could be used by more palatable crop species (Cavers & Harper, 1964) and thus reduce forage feeding value. While leaves of R. crispus had only 20% less palatability than ryegrass, and similar protein concentrations to lucerne, rumicin and chrysaborin from above-ground parts and roots, respectively may cause gastric disturbances and dermatitis in cattle if eaten in large quantities. There are also concerns that nitrate and oxalic acid may cause fatalities in livestock (Reviewed in Zaller, 2004).

The presence of both species are to some extent, indicators of mismanagement of land, of high soil nitrogen concentrations and with R. crispus, soil compaction. They are successful on agricultural land due to flowering several times a year, production of large amounts of seed which remain viable for many years, ability to quickly establish from seed and ability to germainte in a wide range of conditions. They can also regrow from vegetative fragments left in the soil (Cavers & Harper, 1964)

While in general R. crispus is not common in native plant communities (Ellenberg, 1986 in Zaller, 2004) it is stimulated and distributed by human activities, and is an early coloniser of disturbed areas in lowland and upland. R. crispus may also serve as a host for diseases, pests and parasites.

Management Info
Preventative measures: A Risk Assessment of Rumex crispus prepared for Australia resulted in a high score of 16 with a recommendation of \"reject the plant for import (Australia) or species likely to be of high risk (Pacific)\" (PIER, 2003).

R. crispus appears to be relatively vulnerable at early stages of development; once the taproot has formed it has great advantage over shallower rooted grasses and herbs, and can be very difficult to eradicate (Zaller, 2004). The long-term goal of control measures against Rumex is to reduce build-up of seeds and weaken their regrowth capacity by removing or destroying their above- and below-ground biomass.

Chemical: R. crispus is sensitive to many herbicides, especially synthetic auxins (MCPA, 2,4-D, dicamba, dichlorprop-P, fluroxypyr, etc.) and many sulphonylureas (tribenuron, thifensulfuron, amidosulfuron, etc.) (Jursík et al., 2008). Thifensulfuron can be used for dock management in perennial legume stands, good efficacy is also shown by asulam, which is recommended for local application only, due to lower selectivity (Jursík et al., 2008).
Public concern about pesticides in the environment has led to greater demand for non-chemical control methods and the development of mechanical and cultural measures to control plants (Zaller, 2004).

Mechanical: If herbicides are not used, the best option is control via manual removal or destruction of plants. This can be achieved via hand weeding, although is only suggested for use in small areas as it is labour intensive. It is necessary to remove the tap root to a depth of 20 cm in order to prevent regrowth (Zaller, 2004). Recent developments in mechanical control include a motor-driven dock pulling machine which can pull up about 600 Rumex plants per hour (Pötsch, 2003 in Zaller, 2004).

Well developed R. obtusifolis plants can be difficult to control with cutting or grazing. Because of rapid replenishment of carbohydrate in roots, plants require repeated defoliation over a period of several years, which can be achieved by frequent cutting or grazing (Stilmant et al., 2010). However, increased cutting frequencies may increase disturbance and offer opportunities for new seedlings to germinate and establish (Grossrieder & Keary, 2004).

Grazing: Grazing by sheep has been proposed as an alternative to manual removal, but may not be as effective as hand pulling (Van Middelkoop et al. 2005 in Van Evert et al., 2009). While Rumex species are unpalatable to many livestock, they are a favourite of deer (Cavers & Harper, 1965). More studies should focus on mixed grazing (e.g. cows and goats) to control Rumex (Zaller, 2004).

Cultural: Mechanical removal can be combined with grassland renewal and rotation with a grain crop (Van Middelkoop et al., 2005 in Van Evert et al., 2005). Some authors have suggested combating the problem of regrowth by leaving the ground as a bare fallow following a rotary cultivation in spring, so that the unearthed root fragments are killed by desiccation (in Grossrieder & Keary 2004). As Rumex seedlings require high light, control through shading may be effective (Zaller, 2004).

Biological: Numerous insects and fungi have been proposed as biological control agents for R. obtusifolius. The most thoroughly studied organisms are the beetle Gastrophysa viridula and the rust fungus Uromyces rumicis. Studies with Coleoptera have found reductions in seed production, regeneration, and leaf and shoot growth. Similarly studies with fungi have found similar effects and increased root rotting. Efficacy of biological control tends to be more effective when plants are already stressed by environmental conditions (Reviewed by Zaller, 2004).

Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Rumex crispus
NATIVE RANGE
  • iran, islamic republic of
  • iraq
  • ireland
  • israel
  • italy
  • japan
  • kazakhstan
  • korea, democratic people's republic of
  • korea, republic of
  • kyrgyzstan
  • latvia
  • lebanon
  • libyan arab jamahiriya
  • lithuania
  • moldova, republic of
  • mongolia
  • morocco
  • myanmar
  • netherlands
  • norway
  • pakistan
  • poland
  • portugal
  • romania
  • russian federation
  • spain
  • sweden
  • switzerland
  • syrian arab republic
  • taiwan
  • tajikistan
  • thailand
  • tunisia
  • turkey
  • ukraine
  • united kingdom
  • uzbekistan
Informations on Rumex crispus has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
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Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Rumex crispus in information
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Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
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Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Rumex crispus, along with R. obtusifolius are troublesome weeds in grasslands, pastures and arable land. In agricultural areas R. crispus competes with sown or native pasture species and arable crops. They also occupy area which could be used by more palatable crop species (Cavers & Harper, 1964) and thus reduce forage feeding value. While leaves of R. crispus had only 20% less palatability than ryegrass, and similar protein concentrations to lucerne, rumicin and chrysaborin from above-ground parts and roots, respectively may cause gastric disturbances and dermatitis in cattle if eaten in large quantities. There are also concerns that nitrate and oxalic acid may cause fatalities in livestock (Reviewed in Zaller, 2004).

The presence of both species are to some extent, indicators of mismanagement of land, of high soil nitrogen concentrations and with R. crispus, soil compaction. They are successful on agricultural land due to flowering several times a year, production of large amounts of seed which remain viable for many years, ability to quickly establish from seed and ability to germainte in a wide range of conditions. They can also regrow from vegetative fragments left in the soil (Cavers & Harper, 1964)

While in general R. crispus is not common in native plant communities (Ellenberg, 1986 in Zaller, 2004) it is stimulated and distributed by human activities, and is an early coloniser of disturbed areas in lowland and upland. R. crispus may also serve as a host for diseases, pests and parasites.

Red List assessed species 1: EW = 1;
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Locations
SAINT HELENA
Mechanism
[1] Competition
Outcomes
[1] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Reduction in native biodiversity
Management information
Preventative measures: A Risk Assessment of Rumex crispus prepared for Australia resulted in a high score of 16 with a recommendation of \"reject the plant for import (Australia) or species likely to be of high risk (Pacific)\" (PIER, 2003).

R. crispus appears to be relatively vulnerable at early stages of development; once the taproot has formed it has great advantage over shallower rooted grasses and herbs, and can be very difficult to eradicate (Zaller, 2004). The long-term goal of control measures against Rumex is to reduce build-up of seeds and weaken their regrowth capacity by removing or destroying their above- and below-ground biomass.

Chemical: R. crispus is sensitive to many herbicides, especially synthetic auxins (MCPA, 2,4-D, dicamba, dichlorprop-P, fluroxypyr, etc.) and many sulphonylureas (tribenuron, thifensulfuron, amidosulfuron, etc.) (Jursík et al., 2008). Thifensulfuron can be used for dock management in perennial legume stands, good efficacy is also shown by asulam, which is recommended for local application only, due to lower selectivity (Jursík et al., 2008).
Public concern about pesticides in the environment has led to greater demand for non-chemical control methods and the development of mechanical and cultural measures to control plants (Zaller, 2004).

Mechanical: If herbicides are not used, the best option is control via manual removal or destruction of plants. This can be achieved via hand weeding, although is only suggested for use in small areas as it is labour intensive. It is necessary to remove the tap root to a depth of 20 cm in order to prevent regrowth (Zaller, 2004). Recent developments in mechanical control include a motor-driven dock pulling machine which can pull up about 600 Rumex plants per hour (Pötsch, 2003 in Zaller, 2004).

Well developed R. obtusifolis plants can be difficult to control with cutting or grazing. Because of rapid replenishment of carbohydrate in roots, plants require repeated defoliation over a period of several years, which can be achieved by frequent cutting or grazing (Stilmant et al., 2010). However, increased cutting frequencies may increase disturbance and offer opportunities for new seedlings to germinate and establish (Grossrieder & Keary, 2004).

Grazing: Grazing by sheep has been proposed as an alternative to manual removal, but may not be as effective as hand pulling (Van Middelkoop et al. 2005 in Van Evert et al., 2009). While Rumex species are unpalatable to many livestock, they are a favourite of deer (Cavers & Harper, 1965). More studies should focus on mixed grazing (e.g. cows and goats) to control Rumex (Zaller, 2004).

Cultural: Mechanical removal can be combined with grassland renewal and rotation with a grain crop (Van Middelkoop et al., 2005 in Van Evert et al., 2005). Some authors have suggested combating the problem of regrowth by leaving the ground as a bare fallow following a rotary cultivation in spring, so that the unearthed root fragments are killed by desiccation (in Grossrieder & Keary 2004). As Rumex seedlings require high light, control through shading may be effective (Zaller, 2004).

Biological: Numerous insects and fungi have been proposed as biological control agents for R. obtusifolius. The most thoroughly studied organisms are the beetle Gastrophysa viridula and the rust fungus Uromyces rumicis. Studies with Coleoptera have found reductions in seed production, regeneration, and leaf and shoot growth. Similarly studies with fungi have found similar effects and increased root rotting. Efficacy of biological control tends to be more effective when plants are already stressed by environmental conditions (Reviewed by Zaller, 2004).

Bibliography
18 references found for Rumex crispus

Managment information
Holm, Leroy G., Plucknett, D. L., Pancho, J. V., Herberger, J. P. 1977. The world�s worst weeds: distribution and biology. East-West Center/University Press of Hawaii. 609 pp.
IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)., 2010. A Compilation of Information Sources for Conservation Managers.
Summary: This compilation of information sources can be sorted on keywords for example: Baits & Lures, Non Target Species, Eradication, Monitoring, Risk Assessment, Weeds, Herbicides etc. This compilation is at present in Excel format, this will be web-enabled as a searchable database shortly. This version of the database has been developed by the IUCN SSC ISSG as part of an Overseas Territories Environmental Programme funded project XOT603 in partnership with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment. The compilation is a work under progress, the ISSG will manage, maintain and enhance the database with current and newly published information, reports, journal articles etc.
Jurs�k, M., Holec, J. & Zatoriov�, B. 2008. Biology and control of another important weeds of the Czech Republic: Broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius) and curled dock (Rumex crispus). Listy Cukrovarnicke a Reparske , 124(7-8): 215-219.
Otley H, Munro G, Clausen A and Ingham B. 2008. Falkland Islands State of the Environment Report 2008. Falkland Islands Government and Falklands Conservation, Stanley.
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER), 2003. Risk Assessment: Rumex crispus L., Polygonaceae
Summary: Available from: http://www.hear.org/pier/wra/australia/rucri-wra.htm [Accessed 26 July 2010]
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER), 2007. Rumex crispus L., Polygonaceae
Summary: Available from: http://www.hear.org/pier/species/rumex_crispus.htm [Accessed 26 July 2010]
Stilmant, D., Bodson, B., Vrancken, C. & Losseau, C. 2010. Impact of cutting frequency on the vigour of Rumex obtusifolius. Grass and Forage Science, 65: 147-153.
Van Evert, F.K., Polder, G., Van der Heijden, G.W.A.M., Kempenaar, C. & Lotz, L.A.P. 2009. Real-time vision-based detection of Rumex obtusifolius in grassland. Weed Research, 49: 164-174.
Whitehead J. 2008. Priorities for Control: A Risk Assessment of Introduced Species on the Falkland Islands. A RSPB Report to the South Atlantic Invasive Species Project. RSPB, Scotland.
Zaller, J.G. 2004. Ecology and non-chemical control of Rumex crispus and R. obtusifolius (Polygonaceae): a review. Weed Research, 44: 414-432.
General information
Cavers, P. B. and J. L. Harper, 1964. Rumex obtusifolius L. and R. crispus L. Journal of Ecology, Vol. 52, No. 3 (Nov., 1964), pp. 737-766
Cavers, P.B. & Harper, J.L. 1964.Rumex obtusifolius L. and R. crispus L. Journal of Ecology, 52(3): 737-766.
Cronk, Q. C. B., 1983. The decline of the redwood Trochetiopsis erythroxylon on St Helena. Biological Conservation Volume 26 Issue 2 Pages 163-174
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), 2010. Rumex crispus L.
Summary: Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=20937 [Accessed 26 July 2010]
KEW, 2010. South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
Summary: Available from: http://dps.plants.ox.ac.uk/bol/southgeorgia [Accessed 26 July 2010]
Contact
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