PLANT OF THE WEEK: Rumex venosus!

PLANT OF THE WEEK: Rumex venosus!


I thought I’d start a new segment on this blog called PLANT OF THE WEEK! Basically, this will consist of me choosing one of the plants I have seen or collected at Agate Fossil Beds, providing some information about this plant, and giving a brief rationale for my selection. 

On this dazzling week, I am crowning Winged Dock, or Rumex venosus, with the PLANT OF THE WEEK! status. This flowering plant is part of the Polygonaceae family, or more commonly and less-scientifically known as the Knotweed family. This plant is a native species and has beautifully bright red and pink sepals that can be confused as flowers. In fact, the flowers themselves are relatively unnoticeable, as they are small, green, and hidden by the more extravagant sepals. Two fun facts about this plant include that they are known to be feasted upon by Ruddy Copper butterflies, and also contain more Vitamin C than oranges!

Rumex venosus in mid-May
Rumex venosus in mid-June following fruit maturation, where defined pink sepals can be observed

Rationale for Selection

I am selecting this plant as this week’s PLANT OF THE WEEK because when I initially came to Agate, I remember noticing this plant and the small seed-like buds that were attached to the top of the stem, as seen in the photo above on the left, and wondering if this was what the plant looked like during bloom or if something more was coming. To my joy, these buds were the start of something even more amazing. The sepals of this plant are so grand and unique in that they are the components of the plant that hold the color. This was a plant I was very excited to observe pass through its blooming season and I think it’s pretty cool that I got to see it through its different stages. The leaves also stuck out to me in that they are quite wavy and have a nice contrast with the pink inflorescence. Stay tuned for next week’s PLANT OF THE WEEK!

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