Rumex brownii Campd. Swamp Dock
Monogr.Rumex 64, 81 (1819)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Amanda Spooner, Tuesday 15 May 2007

Ascending perennial, herb, 0.3-0.8(-1.2) m high. Fl. green/cream, Oct to Dec or Apr to May. Sandy or loamy soils. Winter-wet flats, roadsides, riversides.


Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Mallee, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.

IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P2, Fitzgerald, Lesueur Sandplain, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren, Western Mallee.

IMCRA Regions: Boags.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Augusta-Margaret River, Boyup Brook, Busselton, Collie, Cranbrook, Dandaragan, Gnowangerup, Harvey, Jerramungup, Kent, Manjimup, Plantagenet, Serpentine-Jarrahdale.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Tuesday 26 March 2019

Alternative Names. Slender Dock, Brown's Dock, Hooked Dock.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Perennial. Reproduction. Seed, root fragments. Dispersal. Animals, clothing (by adhesion), soil, machinery, seed contaminant. Toxicity. Posionous to mammals. Seedbank persistence. 80+ years (some species). Fire response. Resprouts after fire.

Notes. Coloniser of disturbed sites that prefers open habitats in full sun. Has vigourous growth and, once established, competes with other plant species for light, moisture and plant nutrients. Produces prolific amount of seed that germinate at any time during the growing season, however germination is inhibited while the seed remains enclosed in the fruit capsule. Germinates in autumn, and seed matures through summer. Fruits have hooked teeth that are dispersed by adhesion. Frequently forms sterile hybrids capable of vegetative spread. Mature plants have a deep root system which aids survival over summer and plants quickly regenerate with the onset of autumn rain. Rapid growth early in the season gives a competitive advantage over other germinating annuals.

Additional information. Origin. Eastern Australia. Similar native species. Rumex dumosus, R. drummondii.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand remove small/isolated infestations of seedlings and young rosettes. If removing older plants ensure entire plant, including the root, can be removed, otherwise spread will occur from root fragments. Alternatively spot spray with 1% glyphosate + surfactant in early bud stage. Use a higher rate on well established plants. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Germination       O Y Y              
Active Growth       O Y Y Y Y Y Y      
Flowering       Y Y       O O O    
Fruiting Y Y Y               Y Y  
Manual Removal Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
Herbicide Treatment         Y Y Y            

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Botanic Gardens Trust NSW (Undated) Rumex brownii. Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, NSW, Sydney. URL: - Accessed September 2010.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Department of Agriculture and Food WA (2007) Docks (Rumex sp.). Department of Agriculture and Food WA, Perth. URL: - Accessed September 2010.
  • Department of Primary Industries and Water (2008) Docks (Rumex species) Control Guide. Department of Primary Industries and Water, Hobart, Tasmania. URL: - Accessed September 2010.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Parsons, W.T. & Cuthbertson, E.G. (2001) Noxious weeds of Australia. 2nd Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program (2009) Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: - Accessed October 2009.
  • Weaver, S.E. & Cavers, P.B. (1979) Dynamics of seed populations of Rumex crispus and Rumex obtusifolius (Polygonaceae) in disturbed and undisturbed soil. Journal of Applied Ecology, 16: 909-917.

Project information and acknowledgements