PALE DOCK, Rumex altissimus Wood. 1, lower part of plant; 2, upper part of plant with seed head. Perennial, with large taproot, reproducing by seed. Stems 2 to 4 feet (0.6 to 1.2 m) tall, erect or ascending, smooth, branched, arising singly or in groups from a fleshy crown. Leaves at first in a dense rosette, 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) long, flat, ovate, with smooth margins. Leaves on stem smaller, alternate, with heavy midribs, smooth margins, and short petioles bearing papery sheaths surrounding the stem. Flowers in clusters on branches at tip of stem, without petals, small, greenish, becoming brown at maturity. Seeds 3-sided, brown, shiny, surrounded by 3 heart-shaped bracts with smooth edges. Found along roadsides, in pastures and new hayfields, especially in places with moist rich soil. Also commonly known as smooth dock.