This is a perennial weed, reproducing primarily by seeds, but also by taproot fragments. Curled dock is a prolific seed producer. The stems are erect, 0.6-1.5 m tall, and smooth with swollen nodes. One or more stems may arise from the crown. Leaves are long and narrow, up to 30 cm in length, with curly margins and a prominent midvein. The base of each leaf has an ocrea, membranous sheath, which becomes papery and brown as the plant matures. Lower leaves form a rosette. Stem leaves are alternate and decrease in size towards the top of the plant. The flowers are small, dense, green when young but brown at maturity, and occur as terminal and axillary clusters along the upper parts of stems and branches. Easily spotted in winter because the mature inflorescence sticks through the snow as a reddish brown skeleton. Seed pods are small, reddish-brown, triangular, and contain 3 seeds 3-5 mm long.
Take a minimum of 20 weed counts across the field. Scout ditches, pastures, field borders, and orchards for patches of this weed.
Effects on Crop Quality
A common contaminant in cereal crop seed.