Bloody Dock, Red-veined Dock, Bloodwort

Rumex sanguineus

Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Rumex (ROO-meks) (Info)
Species: sanguineus (san-GWIN-ee-us) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:


Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage


Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)

Cullman, Alabama

Wetumpka, Alabama

Searcy, Arkansas

Anderson, California

Clayton, California

Clovis, California

Fairfield, California

Fremont, California

Palo Alto, California

Richmond, California

San Leandro, California

Santa Cruz, California

Walnut Creek, California

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Boise, Idaho

Payette, Idaho

Palmyra, Illinois

Wheaton, Illinois

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Eudora, Kansas

Skowhegan, Maine

Temple, Maine

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Charlevoix, Michigan

Highland, Michigan

Livonia, Michigan

Ludington, Michigan

Owosso, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)

Mount Vernon, Missouri

Westphalia, Missouri

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

Ogdensburg, New York

West Islip, New York

West Kill, New York

Durham, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Coshocton, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Freedom, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

Regina, Saskatchewan

Columbia, South Carolina

Isle Of Palms, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Christiana, Tennessee

Clarksville, Tennessee

Toone, Tennessee

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Fate, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Princeton, Texas

Tyler, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia

Bellevue, Washington

Concrete, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

Twin Lakes, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 5, 2016, saskboy from Regina, SK (Zone 3b) wrote:

This a great accent plant , the dark red veins contrast vividly against the lime green leaves.
Does best with partial shade unless its kept constantly wet or in standing water, then it can take full sun.
The red vein colour intensifies as the weather cools in the fall, making this a good companion plant in an autumn container where it could combine with flowering kale, ornamental millet (purple majesty), dark red chrysanthemums , and late-blooming tall upright sedum such as Autumn joy.
It also combines well with any burgundy coloured flowers that also like part shade such as impatiens, or with the burgundy foliage of Iresine "purple lady".
Don't be afraid to remove the bigger, older leaves when they wilt and fade.
Although the young and tender leaves... read more


On May 15, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A handsome foliage plant.

This last winter was colder than average (Boston Z6a). The plants in one garden died, and those in another are healthy.

Where they were allowed to go to seed, there's a solid mat of seedlings a couple of feet across, with individual seedlings scattered as much as 20 feet away. I'm afraid this plant can be a problem self-sower, if the flowering stems aren't cut early and repeatedly as they regrow. The flowers are not ornamental.

Mature leaves are tough, but the young expanding leaves can be cooked like spinach or used in salads. The leaves contain oxalic acid, so they shouldn't be eaten in large quantities. But in any case, sorrel (Rumex acetosa and R. scutatus) is tastier.


On Mar 29, 2012, rrbart from Eudora, KS wrote:

We love our Bloody Dock. I bought ours 3 years ago.. and have not seen it since.. Looked everywhere.. this year we have started to weed the garden and to our suprise one had seeded Last year and we have a few new seedling coming up. dug some and potted them, raked the rest under. Can't wait to transplant them in the rest of the garden. have never tried to eat them. Just love the color in the perennial garden. The first year the heat was hard on them but they have held up well and the hard winters have not bothered them at all. Very happy with the Plant.. Glad to have more. They are in full sun!


On Jun 29, 2011, in2art from Bellevue, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love this much that I am willing to work to manage its bad habits.

The good: beautifully veined leaves postively glow in sunlight. A really nice accent foliage in the garden.

The bad: it can be aggressive; mine does not spread via runners or anything of that nature, but sends up shoots with leaves on them, that seem to go straight to seed (no noticeable flowers). The first year, I didn't know any better and now have them in many places.

If you dig them when they are young, they are easy and don't resent it as much. I have dug fully mature plants too. They will be wilty at first, but have all recovered within a week or so. In my humble opinion, the "trick" to these is to cut off all of the shoots as soon as you notice them. cut them ... read more


On Jul 4, 2010, nicholtammy from Huntsville,
Canada wrote:

I dug it up from a friends house it was in a semi shady spot I put it in semi sunny spot and it is a clump 1 foot squared not shure how old it is a few years it hasn't spread maybe depends on which cultivar it is


On Jun 5, 2010, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Survives a zone 4 winter - but doesn't always come back each year. Seem to do better in a large container in the pond.


On Apr 1, 2010, esteve59 from Annapolis, MD wrote:

I planted it last year and it stayed evergreen thru the 2010 blizzard,,,,
Seems to do well next to my pond in a very wet boggy soil...
So far it has not spread,,,,,


On Dec 10, 2009, diamond9192002 from (Anita) Fort Wayne, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I am in zone 5 and started this plant from seed. It has gotten quite a bit bigger over the years. When I moved the plant to a full sun location, it didn't look good for a while but made a full recovery. This is a carefree plant and is absolutely beautiful in my zone with striking burgundy veins.


On May 22, 2009, sadies1mom from Portland, OR wrote:

This is a beautiful plant. The foilage alone is what helped with the decision to purchase it. I haven't ever heard of it but, plan on following the advice from fellow owners on this site. Wish me luck!!


On May 5, 2009, velmansia from Antioch, TN wrote:

I have been growing this plant now for 3yrs and it has not grown much for me or invade. It does like moist soil so my dry clay soil was not aiding growth. Love the look of this plant.


On Apr 25, 2009, ClimbTheMtns from Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

Interesting to see the variations of form/color between all the pictures uploaded of this Dock/Sorrel. Is it because they are subspecies (ssp).

I'm into creating a perennial vegetable garden and this Dock fills the bill. Mine is in it's second year and it has not spread at all; on the contrary, it has stayed in one place. I'll report back if it starts creeping this year.

A beautiful plant to add to borders while providing a wee bit oxalic acid/lemony greens to the occasional salad.


On Jul 30, 2008, donicaben from Ogdensburg, NY wrote:

So invasive it will make you cry.

I have HUGE holes all over my back garden from trying to dig this stuff out. We'll see if all the digging did any good next year.


On Jul 26, 2008, lazeegardner from Monroe, MI wrote:

HELP! I love this plant, or did at first, then by the second year it totally invaded my entire landscape. I dug up the original plants but it was too late, it already "tunneled" into other parts of my landscape. I want to get rid of it, but don't know how without killing the rest of my plants. Does anyone know how to kill the original roots without disturbing my other foilage and flowering plants (perineals)????


On Jun 18, 2008, Thom228 from Roanoke, VA wrote:

Like some others, I have to chuckle when I see the suggestion to avoid overwatering. I too bought this plant as one for my pond and it is really thriving as a marginal. It took a week or so to get going, but once it did it really took off.

As for edible, well I don't like the idea of eating from our goldfish pond, but you never know what I might try if food prices keep going up!


On Jan 8, 2007, Fleurs from Columbia, SC wrote:

In partial shade, Rumex looks outstanding all year in my Southeastern garden. Very easy to grow from winter sowed seed, Rumex makes a lovely edger.


On Jan 15, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is such an interesting foliage plant. I bought a gallon one and divided it in two. One I put in the flower bed, and one in the pond. They both filled in quickly. I have a deicer in my pond, so left the Bloody Dock in the water. It is doing well and keeps putting out new growth. Even what is in the ground doesn't die back completely here in zone 5a. It will also self-seed. Prone to powdery mildew. Blooms in July in my garden, but blooms are insignificant.

My information says it is hardy in zones 5-8 and will grow in full to partial sun. Another name is Bloodwort.


On Sep 5, 2004, MarleneRose from Markham,
Canada wrote:

I just bought this plant today at a nursery specializing in herbs. It was being sold as an edible. I thought the leaf would look nice added to a salad. The tag on the plant says

Bloody Dock "Rumex Sanguineus" (Bloodwort)
Young leaves used like spinach, fresh or blanched. Roots used medicinally to treat cancer and as a blood tonic.



On Jul 25, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

I have lost this plant over the winter on occasion, but continue to grow it. I am on the border between zones 4 and 5. Snow cover seems more important than cold in success over the winter. My plants are in full sun and are a good deal redder than those in the pix here.


On Jul 23, 2004, scooterbug from Tellico Plains, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

Really like this plant but I had to relocate it due to excessive wilting in full sun. So now it resides where it only gets morning sun.


On Jun 21, 2004, hunnybee from Evergreen Park, IL wrote:

I love the look of the bloody dock and it's easy to grow. However, I had to relocate it when it began to take over the other plants in it's area. It did not transplant well at all. It's leaves became very wilty and it's slumpped over now. I'm afraid I may have killed it.


On May 31, 2004, plantbear from Wilmington, VT wrote:

We are firmly into zone 4 and our bloody dock came back after a severely cold winter. Even bigger than last year.


On Sep 1, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

It is Sept 1st and this rumex has been cut back twice since April, getting ready to flower again.


On Jul 2, 2003, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

I bought this as a "Depth 2" water garden plant (=water level from plant crown up to 6" deep) and have been growing it for a month now in full sun in a water container and it is thriving.

We have now over-wintered this plant for 2 years.
In a pond in a container no problem.
One is now going to seed so we see how well the seeds do.


On Sep 11, 2001, Baa wrote:

Perennial from Europe and North Africa. Has large, broad, lance shaped, mid green leaves with deep red veining up to 6 inches long. Bears panicles of tiny, star shaped flowers starting out green then turning to reddish brown with age, borne on reddish stems.

Flowers between April - August.

Sometimes grown in bog gardens but really prefers well drained, slightly moist and moderately fertile soil in full sun. Has a very deep tap root and therefore may be difficult to get rid of.