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Oxalis tetraphylla - Cav.
                 
Common Name
Family Oxalidaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards The leaves contain oxalic acid, which gives them their sharp flavour. Perfectly all right in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since oxalic acid can bind up the body's supply of calcium leading to nutritional deficiency. The quantity of oxalic acid will be reduced if the leaves are cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[238].
Habitats A weed of cultivated soil in Jersey[17].
Range Southern N. America - Mexico. Naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Oxalis tetraphylla


(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
Oxalis tetraphylla
(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Oxalis tetraphylla is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats
 Ground Cover; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked[105]. A pleasant acid flavour, though a little fibrous[K]. Use in moderation, see notes at top of sheet, Flowers - raw[K]. A dellightful acid flavour, they make an attractive addition to the salad bowl and are especially relished by children[K]. Root - cooked. Starchy but of poor quality[2, 105].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
Ground cover[K]. The plants are dormant for about 5 months of the year, but grow so densly in the summer that they make an effective ground cover in full sun or light shade[K].
Cultivation details
A very easily grown plant, preferring a sandy soil in a warm dry position[1]. Our plants have proved to be very tolerant of neglect, succeeding for a number of years even in the dense growth of grass weeds[K]. When well-tended, clumps can spread quite quickly[K]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[200]. Closely related to O. deppei, which is included in this species by many botanists[200].
Propagation
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

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Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Oxalis acetosellaWood Sorrel32
Oxalis adenophyllaSauer Klee00
Oxalis articulataPink Sorrel30
Oxalis barrelieriBarrelier's woodsorrel20
Oxalis bifida 20
Oxalis corniculataYellow Sorrel, Creeping woodsorrel22
Oxalis corymbosaLilac Oxalis, Pink woodsorrel20
Oxalis deppeiIron Cross Plant40
Oxalis enneaphyllaScurvy Grass20
Oxalis europaea 20
Oxalis exilisLeast Yellow Sorrel, Shady woodsorrel22
Oxalis frutescensShrubby woodsorrel20
Oxalis lasiandra 00
Oxalis magellanica 20
Oxalis montanaMountain Wood Sorrel20
Oxalis oreganaRedwood Sorrel31
Oxalis pes-capraeBermuda Buttercup20
Oxalis strictaYellow Wood Sorrel, Common yellow oxalis, Common Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis21
Oxalis triangularisOxalis30
Oxalis tuberosaOca50
Oxalis violaceaViolet Wood Sorrel31
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Expert comment
 
Author
Cav.
Botanical References
200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Frank Haslam Thu Oct 1 2009
I grew these half inch bulbs of Oxalis tetraphylla in a large flower pot, and they flowered profusely form July till late September. I dug them up and found some very large bulbs. white 2" circumference, tapering 3" verticallyto a fine point. On the top of some were fine bulbs or corms (half inch diameter. Can anyone explain this phenomenon please? What can I do with the large bulbs and with the small ones.
Elizabeth H.
Frank Haslam Thu Oct 1 2009
I grew these half inch bulbs of Oxalis tetraphylla in a large flower pot, and they flowered profusely form July till late September. I dug them up and found some very large bulbs. white 2" circumference, tapering 3" verticallyto a fine point. On the top of some were fine bulbs or corms (half inch diameter. Can anyone explain this phenomenon please? What can I do with the large bulbs and with the small ones.
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