Season: Seeds in late summer and fall
Habitat: Fields, meadows, open ground
Details: Curly dock, or "yellow dock," (pictured above) is a perennial herbaceous plant in the buckwheat family and it is native to Europe and Western Asia. Fully grown plants have a stalk about 3 feet high, and it's reddish in color. It has large alternate branching simple leaves growing from a large basal rosette. The wavy, "curled" margins resemble burdock, though unlike burdock, these leaves are hairless. On the top of the stalk, greenish flowers form and give way to reddish-brown seeds in clusters on branching stems. These seeds can be winnowed and ground into flour or cooked as a cereal grain. The cleaned seeds are shiny, caramel brown and have three sides like other buckwheat family members. The tender leaves can be eaten raw, or cooked if you have the option. The large, yellow taproot has long been a source of medicinal tannic acid.