Bloody Dock is an attractive, tap-rooted perennial that offers beautiful red-veined foliage. It is primarily grown for its ornamental and edible values. It fashions a tightly packed rosette of medium green lanceolate leaves that are exquisitely marked with a complex network of red to purple veins. It also produces tiny, star-shaped flowers in the form of panicles in red, burgundy, copper, or brown shades.
Many gardeners recommend using bloody dock edging plants in borders in vegetable or ornamental gardens to contrast with purple foliage or light green plants. It is rich in Vitamin A and C, magnesium, iron, and many other active ingredients that account for its remarkable pharmacological actions. It imparts antiseptic, astringent, antihyperlipidemic, anticancer, and various other medicinal effects. Its leaves are decocted for external preparations to heal wounds, burns, rashes, cuts, insect bites, boils, hemorrhoids, and several other skin diseases. Its root is a great astringent and its infusion is recommended for curing circulatory diseases and heavy bleeding.
Its tender young leaves are eaten as vegetables as the old ones become bitter and tough with time. They taste like spinach with a hint of citrusy lemon. Herbalists prefer to consume it in small amounts as it contains oxalic acid which can lock up the absorption of other nutrients.