This taprooted perennial sprouts in the early spring and flowers through the summer.
The lower leaves are usually petioled and have a heart shaped base. The 12-inch leaves are usually lance shaped or oblong. The stem leaves have a membranous sheath (ocrea) and progressively get smaller as they near the top of the plant. With age, the leaves become a reddish purple
The plant's large broad leaves that form a basal rosette can identify this plant, while its wide, flat leaves differentiate it from the curly dock.
Flower Seed Head:
Flowers occur in clusters on the upper portions of elongated stems. The flowers are composed of greenish sepals that turn reddish brown as they mature.
The seeds develop in an achene, which is encased in a papery, 3-winged calyx. The 2mm long achenes are triangular, and are a glossy brown in color.
This plant prefers nutrient-rich damp soils. It can be found along roadsides, meadows, orchards, and drainage ditches.