Broad-leaved Dock grows in many of the same places as Curled Dock (Rumex crispus) throughout most of Scotland, but is less frequent in cow pasture, as it prefers field margins, ditches, road sides and waste ground. It is the most famous of the Docks, chosen by children to combat the effects of nettle stings, though it is not nature’s most effective cure. Greater Plantain (Plantago major) contains more anti-histamine than Broad-leaved Dock.
Stems are upright and branched, with leaves growing on alternate sides of the stems. Leaves are oblong and blunt, upper leaves more tapered. The leaf-edges are finely toothed, and the leaf is slightly crinkly with some hairs on the undersides. Often the leaves are marked with brown rust blotches. The leaves grow to about 25cm. The bases are squared or heart-shaped with long stalks.
Flowers grow numerously on branching stems at the top of the plant. They are greenish white, turning red as they mature. Each flower is a 6-lobed perianth, about 3mm across, arranged in two whorls of 3. Inside these are 6 stamens with yellow anthers, clustered around a pistil of 3 fused carpels.