Rumex patientia i s a perennial herb from a taproot, to 1.5 m tall (usually shorter), unbranched below inflorescence; stipule (ocrea) membranous, soon deciduous (Flora of North America 1993+).
Leaves alternate, stalk elongate, blade pale, slightly blue-green, oblong or slightly wider above middle, 30-45 cm long, 10-15 cm wide (Flora of North America 1993+), tip blunt, base blunt or slightly lobed, margin finely ruffled to plane, mostly in broad basal rosettes, dying as fruit develops, stem leaves few, smaller, dying as fruit ripens, new winter rosettes arising at base of fruiting stem mid-summer.
Flowers green, 3 narrow outer sepals, three inner bract-like petals broadly heart-shaped, 0.6-0.9 cm long, margins blunt-toothed, appressed to one another as wings, lower part of mid vein of one petal forming a bulbous tubercle along its lower third, other petals with small or no tubercle, tubercle less than half length of fruit wing (valve), individual fruit stalks with swollen “joint”.
Fruit dry, dark brown with paler tubercle, enclosing trigonous seed (achene); blooming and fruiting June-July. Seeds eaten by many birds and small mammals, leaves eaten by mammals (Martin et al. 1951).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Occasional.
Habitat: Open, disturbed areas, fill, roadsides.
Notes: Apparently has medicinal properties.