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Oxalis stricta - L.

Common Name Yellow Wood Sorrel, Common yellow oxalis, Common Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis
Family Oxalidaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
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 Dry open soils[43]. Prefers impoverished soils, growing in abandoned fields, roadsides etc[159].
Range Eastern N. America - Nova Scotia to Florida and Texas. E. Asia. A rare introduction in Britain.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Oxalis stricta Yellow Wood Sorrel, Common yellow oxalis, Common Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis


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Oxalis stricta Yellow Wood Sorrel, Common yellow oxalis, Common Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer, Mid fall. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Oxalis stricta is a ANNUAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) at a fast rate. It is in flower from July to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

O. dillenii.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds; South Wall. In. West Wall. In.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Root  Seedpod
Edible Uses: Drink

Leaves - raw or cooked[46, 61, 105]. A nice acid flavour[159], the leaves can also be chewed as a thirst quencher[183]. Use in moderation, see notes at top of sheet, Flowers - raw[105, 161, 183]. Added to salads. Young seedpods - raw[183]. Root[105, 161, 183]. No further details. A lemon-flavoured drink is made from the leaves[159].

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.
Febrifuge  Poultice  Stomachic

An infusion of the plant has been used in the treatment of fevers, stomach cramps and nausea[257]. A poultice of the plant has been used to treat swellings[257].

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Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

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Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Dye

A yellow to orange dye can be obtained by boiling up the whole plant[257].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Easily grown in a sandy soil in a warm dry position[1]. Very closely related to O. corniculata, and seen as no more than a variety of that species by some botanists[266]. This variety differs from O. corniculata by stems erect, not rooting at nodes; branched or not[266]. Special Features: North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have enough seed it can be sown in situ during the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Oxalis acetosellaWood SorrelPerennial0.1 3-7 FLMHFSNM32 
Oxalis adenophyllaSauer KleePerennial0.2 4-8  LMHSNM00 
Oxalis articulataPink SorrelPerennial0.2 7-10  LMNM30 
Oxalis barrelieriBarrelier's woodsorrelPerennial0.0 0-0  LMNDM20 
Oxalis bifida Bulb0.3 8-11  LMNDM20 
Oxalis corniculataYellow Sorrel, Creeping woodsorrelAnnual/Perennial0.1 4-8  LMHNDM220
Oxalis corymbosaLilac Oxalis, Pink woodsorrelPerennial0.2 7-10  LMHNDM20 
Oxalis deppeiIron Cross PlantBulb0.3 7-10  LMNM40 
Oxalis enneaphyllaScurvy GrassPerennial0.1 5-9  LMNDM20 
Oxalis europaea Annual/Perennial0.4 -  LMNDM20 
Oxalis exilisLeast Yellow Sorrel, Shady woodsorrelAnnual/Perennial0.1 4-8  LMHNDM22 
Oxalis frutescensShrubby woodsorrelPerennial0.0 0-0  LMNDM20 
Oxalis lasiandra Perennial0.3 8-11  LMSNM00 
Oxalis magellanica Perennial0.0 5-9  LMSNDM20 
Oxalis montanaMountain Wood SorrelPerennial0.1 0-0  LMHSM201
Oxalis oreganaRedwood SorrelPerennial0.2 6-9  LMHFSNM313
Oxalis pes-capraeBermuda ButtercupPerennial0.2 8-11  LMNDM20 
Oxalis tetraphylla Perennial0.1 7-10  LMNDM30 
Oxalis triangularisOxalisPerennial0.2 10-11 MLMSNDM30 
Oxalis tuberosaOcaPerennial0.5 6-9  LMNM50 
Oxalis violaceaViolet Wood SorrelBulb0.3 4-8  LMHSNDM31 

 

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Expert comment

Author

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Botanical References

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Readers comment

Miss Suzanne Lee   Tue Oct 28 01:21:35 2003

We always called it sourgrass, as we found it sour when we chewed it. The flowers and seedpods are especially sour.

Link: cloudnet.com

Marjorie   Mon Nov 28 2005

I would like to know where I could get seed for this plant, for a ground cover and woul need about 2 pounds.

lauren spicer   Sat May 13 2006

this page was very helpful for me to complete what i needed...the only thing i would suggest, that i didnt find was...what kinds of animals/bugs eat sourgrass? Other than that i would reccomend this website to anyone..thanks a ton!!! lauren spicer

Feral   Sat May 24 2008

I'm interested in the edibility of the root. This plant seems to be a close relative of a plant called Oca or Ocu which I found out about in my book of perinnial vegetables. anyone know wbout the root,harvesting it, etc. Thanks, good fortune. -Feral

   Sat Oct 18 2008

This was great! Helped me a lot on my essay! Thanks a lot! Plants for a future rocks!

   Sun Oct 19 2008

Very enteresting THAnks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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