Wild Rhubarb

Common Names:
Wild Rhubarb, Canaigre Dock, Arizona dock
Scientific name:
Rumex hymenosepalus
Rumex hymenosepalus var. euhymenosepalus, Rumex hymenosepalus var. salinus
Elevation range:
30 to 6000 ft
Flowering Months:
January, February, March, April, May
Height | Length:
2 - 4 ft.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Pollinator or food source for:
Ancestral Usage:
food, medicinal, textile dye
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Chihuahuan, Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran

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Wild Rhubarb in the desert

Rumex hymenosepalus is a large perennial herb with thick stalks and very large leaves, growing to a height of about 3.5 feet.  Antelope Valley, CA | April 2014

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Wild Rhubarb in the desert

Fruit of Rumex hymenosepalus is thin, rounded and in clusters. Seed pods range from pink to brown. Tannins are found in the roots and were used to tan leather. Young leaves were eaten by Native American tribes and are still used in modern cooking, especially in jelly and pie. Antelope Valley, CA | April 2014

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Wild Rhubarb in the desert

These Rumex hymenosepalus flowers are maturing and beginning to fruit. Flowers are greenish yellow and light red color. Pipes Canyon, CA | March 2015