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Any coarse weedy plant of the genus Rumex, in the buckwheat family, that has a long taproot and is sometimes used as a potherb. Most docks are native to Europe but naturalized throughout North America. Examples include curly dock (R. crispus) and bitter dock (R. obtusifolius). The early basal leaves of patience-dock (R. patientia) are sometimes used in salads. The common weed R. acetosa is known variously as dock, common sorrel, or garden sorrel. See alsosorrel.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on dock, visit Britannica.com.