South Dakota Native Plant Research
Polygonaceae : Rumex venosus

Polygonaceae : Rumex venosus


Download Mature plant (1.3 MB)

Download Leaves (655 KB)

Download Inflorescence (2.5 MB)

Download Developing fruit (731 KB)

Family Name


Common Name

Wild begonia, Veiny dock

Native American Name

Lakota: waȟpé skúya


Rumex venosus is a perennial herb from a branching rhizome with erect, branching, reddish, flowering stems that grow 15–40 cm tall. The simple, alternate, petiolate, cauline leaves are lanceolate to ovate, 3–10 cm long with thick leathery blades that are pointed at the tip. The lower most leaves are generally reduced in size. The inflorescence is a panicle with few branches, becoming showy in fruit. The perfect flowers have 2 whorls of tepals 3-4 mm long at anthesis, with 6 stamens and 1 pistil. The outer 3 tepals remain small, the inner tepals (valves), enlarge with the fruit development, becoming reddish, 20–45 mm long orbicular with a cordate-base and lacking growths (tubercles). The fruit are light brown achenes, 5-7 mm long. Wild begonia blooms from April into July on sandy dunes and riverbanks in southern and western South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Veiny dock provides a unique texture and color to a native plant garden. As the fruit matures, the valves become very showy. However, the enclosing valves allow the seeds to be blown for some distance and can lead to new plants popping up everywhere. A relative of rhubarb, the plants are technically edible, but are quite sour and contain high levels of oxalates that can cause gastric distress.

Horticulture Notes

Seed collection: Pick the achenes in July and August, after they become light brown.

Germination: Seeds are dormant and required a 60-day cold moist treatment for spring planting, or they can be sown in the fall.

Vegetative propagation: New shoots can be removed from the rhizomes and transplanted.

Light: Full sun.

Soils: Sandy soils.

Water: Medium dry to dry.

Polygonaceae : Rumex venosus