Garden Dock, called Monks' Rhubarb.
Lapatham sativum, patientia.
A TALL plant of the dock kind, a native of Italy, and kept in our gardens for its virtues. It grows six or seven feet high. The stalk is round, striated, thick, upright, and firm. The leaves are very large, long, and are pointed at the extremity: they stand upon thick hollowed foot stalks; and the main stalk of the plant is also frequently red. The flowers are like those of the other docks, greenish and white at first, but afterwards brown; but they are larger than in almost any other kind. The root is very large, long, and divided; the outer coat is of a brownish yellow; within, it is yellow mixed with red. This is the part used; it has been called monks' rhubarb, from its possessing some of the virtues of the true rhubarb; but it possesses them only in a slight degree, it is very little purgative, and less astringent: It works by urine as well as stool, and is good in the jaundice, and other disorders arising from obstructions.
There is another plant of the dock kind, called bastard rhubarb (?? Rheum rhaponticum?? -Henriette), kept in some gardens, and mistaken for this. The leaves of it are roundish. It has the same virtues with the monks' rhubarb, but in a much less degree, so that it is very wrong to use it in its place.