University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants - Red-Veined Dock

Author: 
Marian Hengemihle
Photo by Marian Hengemihle

Rumex sanguineus

With a preference for damp soils, this dramatic foliage plant is a terrific accent in mixed containers, borders, and along pond margins, but its best use is a container plant in water gardens and ponds. Lance-shaped leaves with striking burgundy veins provide excellent color and texture, so site it where the unique color can be appreciated close up. Dock prefers light shade and grows about 15 inches tall and wide and requires little care other than removing spent foliage and the insignificant flower spikes. This short clumping perennial is usually grown as an annual but, with USDA hardiness to zone 6-8, it can overwinter if given protection. In boggy soils it has been known to take over. 

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