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Published In: Monographie des Rumex 58, t. 1, f. 1. 1819. (Monogr. Rumex) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/11/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project data     (Last Modified On 2/29/2012)


Emex spinosa (L.) Campd., Monogr. Rumex 58, t. 1 (1819); Boiss., Fl. Orient. 4: 1005 (1879). Rumex spinosus L., Sp. Pl. 337 (1753). Type: Habitat in Creta, Herb. Linn. no. 464.36 (LINN). [Plate 80]

Common name:

Spiny Dock; אמיך קוצני


Sandy soils in the coast and loessial soils in steppes and deserts, grasslands, waste places, nests of harvesting ants. Coastal Galilee, Acco Plain, Carmel Coast, Sharon Plain, Philistean Plain, Upper and Lower Galilee, Samaria, Shefela, Judean Mts., Judean Desert, N., W. and S. Negev, Negev Highlands, Upper and Lower Jordan Valleys, Golan, Moav, Edom.

Area distribution:

Mediterranean, extending into tha adjascent Saharo-Arabian territories.


         This species is considered an amphicarpic plant: contractile roots pull down the lowermost fruits into the sandy soil. The upper achenes are adapted to zoochory but actually dispersed by othe vectors. Leaves and roots are used for culinary purposes.

      Two other varieties are mentioned in the literature, namely var. minor and var. pusilla Beg. & Vacc., Sec. Contr. Fl. Libia 21 (1913); their proper status and the relations between them need clarification.


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     Glabrous annual, 5-50 cm., many- or few-stemmed. Stems decumbent to erect, sometimes reddish. Leaves 1-12 x 1-7 cm., petiolate, ovate to oblong, entire, truncate to cordate at base, more or less rounded and apiculate at apex. Staminate flowers 1.5-2 mm., on filiform pedicels together with some perfect ones, clustered at upper part of interrupted racemes. Pistillate flowers 1.5 mm., sessile or nearly so, clustered at nodes and lower parts of racemes; perianth urn-shaped, greenish-red, much growing in fruit, with outer segments spinescent, more or less recurved at apex and inner ones ovate-triangular, 3-ribbed. Achene about 4 mm., enclosed in perianth, triquetrous. Fruits of two kinds, aerial and subterranean, the latter crowded near root neck, larger and less spinescent than the former. Fl. December-May.

     Var. spinosa. Leaves many, up to 12 x 6.5 cm.; petiole generally as long as or shorter than blade. Fruit 6-8 mm., more or less spinescent. Cotyledond more or less wide, club-shaped.


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