Water dock

Water Dock

©Philip Precey

Water dock

Scientific name: Rumex hydrolapathum
As its name suggests, Water dock likes damp places, such as the egdes of canals, ponds and rivers. It is a tall plant with large, greenish flower spikes.

Species information


Height: up to 2m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Water dock, as its name suggests, can be found growing beside water at the edges of canals, ponds and rivers, and even in shallow water. An abundant perennial, flower spikes appear from July to September.

How to identify

Water dock is a tall plant with slender and pointed leaves, and spikes of tiny, pinky-green flowers.


Found mainly in Central and South East England; absent from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Did you know?

At up to 2m tall, Water dock is the tallest member of the dock family.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.