A perennial weed with a deep taproot that enables it to survive severe drought, this plant ranges throughout the entire United States. At maturity the plant is 2-4 feet tall with a distinctive reddish-brown seed structure after the inconspicuous flowers have bloomed. Leaves are dark green, smooth and lance-like. It produces thousands of seeds which are viable for 20 years or more.
It may be found in wetlands, meadows, alfalfa fields, on roadsides or in any area with poor drainage. Under certain conditions it can be toxic to livestock. Curly dock can be found scattered throughout Garfield County, particularly in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys.