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OXALIS acetosella

Image of Oxalis acetosella

Jesse Saylor

Family

Oxalidaceae

Botanical Name

OXALIS acetosella

Plant Common Name

Wood Sorrel

General Description

Commonly dubbed “wood sorrel”, many would take one look at its bright green, trifoliate leaves and call it “Irish shamrock”, though this small, mat-forming perennial is native to areas far beyond Ireland. In fact, it can be found growing in temperate woodlands across the expanse of the Northern Hemisphere.

Wood sorrel grows from small bulb-like rhizomes that go dormant in winter or during periods of drought. In spring, light green leaves with three heart-shaped leaflets blanket the ground. The leaves fold up at night, or in cloudy weather. Small, single flowers cover the plants in springtime. Each five-petaled white blossom is cup-shaped with pink veins and a yellow center.

Grow wood sorrel in a shaded spot with moist, well-drained loam that's friable. In most woodland garden settings, this perennial may proliferate and become a bit weedy.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    2"-3" / 5.1cm - 7.6cm

  • Width

    1'-10' / 0.3m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    World/Pandemic, North America, Europe, United Kingdom, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Mat-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes