An Eco-sustainable World
HerbaceousSpecies Plant

Rumex patientia

Rumex patientia

Patience dock (Rumex patientia L.) is a herbaceous species belonging to the Polygonaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota Domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Spermatophyta Division,
Magnoliophyta class,
Polygonales Order,
Polygonaceae family,
Genus Rumex,
R. patientia species.
The terms are synonymous:
– Acetosa patientia (L.) M.Gómez;
– Lapathum hortense Garsault;
– Rumex aquaticus subsp. patientia (L.) Bonnier & Layens, 1894;
– Rumex callosus (F.Schmidt) Rech.f.;
– Rumex domesticus f. callosus F.Schmidt;
– Rumex domesticus f. callosus F.Schmidt ex Maxim.;
– Rumex interruptus Rech.f.;
– Rumex lonaczewskii Klokov;
– Rumex orientalis Benth.;
– Rumex orientalis Bernh. ex Schult. & Schult.f.;
– Rumex patientia var. callosus F.Schmidt;
– Rumex patientia var. callosus F.Schmidt ex Maxim.;
– Rumex patientia var. tibeticus Rech.f..
Within this species, the following subspecies are recognized:
– Rumex patientia subsp. orientalis Danser;
– Rumex patientia subsp. patientia;
– Rumex patientia subsp. recurvatus (Rech.) Rech.fil.;
– Rumex patientia subsp. tibeticus (Rech.fil.) Rech.fil..

Etymology –
The term Rumex comes from rumex javelin, spear: due to the pointed shape of the leaves of many species of this genus. Already in Plautus and others with the meaning of romice.
The specific epithet patientia comes from patior, therefore suffering, enduring, adapting, undergoing: patience, tenacity, tolerance, resistance, reference to the adaptability of the plant.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Rumex Patientia is a plant spread from Eastern Europe to the Irano-Turanica region. it is found in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and the Balkans up to Greece and naturalized in some places in Great Britain.
It is also present in Italy, although rare, from the northern regions to Sicily.
Its habitat is that of disturbed environments, usually near the inhabited areas, from the sub-Mediterranean to the mountain range, from sea level up to 4,000 meters.

Description –
Patience dock is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows, producing a cluster of sturdy and erect branched stems, which can reach a height of about 80 – 150 cm, occasionally up to 200 cm.
Each stem carries 10 to 20 flowers, usually crowded towards the tips of the branches and more widely separated below.
The flowers are up to about 5 – 8 mm long and about the same wide; they are light green to pink in color, with 3 sides with 2 series of tepals (similar petals and sepals) and the outer tepals much smaller than the inner ones. The 3 internal tepals, also called valves, are round to kidney-shaped, rounded at the apex, clearly veined on the surface, the edges mostly flat and slightly jagged. At the base of at least one internal tepal there is a protrusion called the grain, about ¼ of the length of the tepalus, narrow egg-shaped with a rounded tip, typically 1 grain per flower but sometimes 3 with 2 smaller grains. Tepals spread at the time of flowering, revealing stamens and styles, and close after pollination. The flower stems are very thin and smooth, up to twice as long as the internal tepals at the time of flowering, with a distinct joint, usually swollen in the lower third, sometimes almost at the base.
The flowering period is June-July.
The leaves are both basal and alternate, hairless although sometimes rough along the veins on the underside, the edges are toothless or slightly scalloped and flat to slightly wavy, pointed at the tip and the base mostly wedge-shaped straight. The basal leaves are lanceolate, 15 to 30 cm long and 5 to 10 cm broad, on a stem shorter than the lamina.
The leaves become smaller, more lanceolate and with a shorter stem as they rise up the stem. At the base of the foliar stem there is a brownish paper sheath (ocrea) that surrounds the stem and mostly disintegrates with maturity. The stems are robust, erect, branched approximately in the center, ribbed and hairless.
Each flower produces a single seed, wrapped in persistent tepals, which form a dry, brown to rusty brown capsule structure.
The seeds are 3-sided, egg-shaped with a pointed tip, brown to reddish brown in color and 3 to 3.5 mm long.

Cultivation –
Rumex patientia is a plant that is harvested in nature for local use as food and medicine. It is sometimes grown for its edible leaves.
In general it is a very easy plant to grow, which grows in most soils, preferring a moderately fertile well-drained moist soil in a sunny position.
In ancient times it was cultivated for its edible leaves while today it has been practically abandoned.
This plant, being pollinated by the wind, usually hybridizes, especially with other plants of the same genus.
Propagation occurs by seed. Sowing should be done in spring both in seedbeds and subsequent transplanting or directly in the open field, in the period of April-May and even beyond.

Customs and Traditions –
Rumex patientia is a medicinal plant. It is rich in potassium oxalate, chrysophane or rumicin acid and combined iron in organic form.
For medicinal use, an infusion of the root is used which has been used as a poultice and ointment in the treatment of various skin problems.
The infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of constipation.
The leaves were rubbed into the mouth to treat a sore throat.
For edible use, raw or cooked leaves are used. They are cooked like spinach or made into a delicious puree; they are often mixed with a quarter of sorrel to flavor them.
Remember that the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, but they contain oxalic acid, so they should not be consumed in excess (e.g. every day). The leaves can be used raw in salads, cooked in soups and stews, or layered in baked dishes such as lasagna. The leaves are rich in minerals and can be harvested at any time.
Among other uses, although no specific mention has been made for this species, dark green to brown and dark gray dyes can be obtained from the roots of this genus of plants that do not require a mordant.

Preparation Method –
Rumex patientia is a plant whose leaves and roots are mainly used. The former mainly for food use and the latter for medicinal use.
The leaves are rich in minerals and can be harvested at any time; they can be used raw in salads, cooked in soups and stews or layered in oven dishes such as lasagna. In spring it is often eaten as a leaf vegetable in southern Europe, especially in Bulgaria (in the ciorbă de ștevie), North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia (in the Sarmale).
For medicinal use, the balsamic period is the month of September.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *