The docks are a genus of about 200 species of annual, biennial and perennial herbs in the buckwheat family. Members of this family are very common perennial herbs growing mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, but various species have been introduced almost everywhere. Some are nuisance weeds, but some are grown for their edible leaves.
They are erect plants, usually with long taproots. The fleshy to leathery leaves form a basal rosette at the root. The usually inconspicuous flowers are carried above the leaves in clusters. The fertile flowers are mostly hermaphrodite, or they may be functionally male or female. The flowers and seeds grow on long clusters at the top of a stalk emerging from the basal rosette; in many species the flowers are green, but in some the flowers and their stems may be brick-red.