This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
This is one of those marsh plants that commonly occur in ancient deposits, being found in Preglacial, Early Glacial beds in Norfolk, Interglacial beds in Suffolk, and Late Glacial beds in Suffolk. To-day it is found in the North Temperate Zone in Europe, N. and W. Asia, N.W. India, N. America. In Great Britain it is found in Somerset, Dorset, Sussex, Kent, Surrey, S. Essex, Middlesex, Berks, Oxford, in Anglia except W. Suffolk, in Worcester, Warwick, Stafford, Salop, the Trent province, the Mersey and Humber provinces except in S.W.
P'hoto. Horwood - Golden Dock (Rumex martimus, L.)
Yorks, or from Northumberland to Kent and Somerset; and in Ireland and the Channel Islands.
Native in marshes but rare, the Golden Dock has within recent years become widely distributed, in ballast and otherwise, around the shores of reservoirs and other tracts of water, as well as in waste places here and there. In the past it was dispersed doubtless with other plants by wildfowl.
The stem is tall, erect, branched, reddish, furrowed, and rough. The radical leaves are stalked, oblong-lance-shaped, narrowed at the base, bluish-green, flat, wavy, scalloped, the upper leaves linear-lance-shaped, incurved upwards.
The flowers are yellow, in a panicle with spreading branches, with 3 enlarged petals, with hair-like bristles on each side of a tubercle, as long as the petals, in dense whorls often running together. The nut is small, with elliptic sides and 3-sided.