Sunday, September 13, 2009

Purple Oxalis or Shamrock

 
I first fell in love with oxalis, when I discovered all the variety in this genus.  The purple three-leaf Oxalis  triangularis is the one pictured here. This post was inspired by a comment from Tatyana about my deep purple leaf.  I am enchanted with every aspect of this plant. It's leaves have a number of different shades of purple on their leaves. Each leaf is a triangle and they close like an umbrella when the sun shines on them or night comes.
  
  
The genus hails from Mexico, South Africa, and Brazil, but has spread to many countries. It grows year round here, but doesn't flower in the heat. It is also called wood sorrell and is edible, although I've never eaten it. Perhaps it would do in a salad, having a somewhat bitter taste. I love looking at it so much, I've never thought to eat it.
   
Its blossom is lavender, although it's a little hard to tell in this photo.  The blossoms also close at night and in the sun.  Mine is so used to Southern California now that only a week after a heat wave and temperatures  now in the 80s, it has started to bloom again.
 
 This is the small bed they live in with a cyclamen, impatience, and heather. As it gets cooler I'm going to add more oxalis to this bed, but two different varieties. I'll share those with you after they're up.
 

16 comments:

Roses and stuff said...

It's very ornamental - I wish I could grow it in my garden!
Katarina

Jacob Royer said...

I love oxalis.
I had a post of this earlier this year with my clover. There was much more clover than oxalis though.

Rosey Pollen said...

This is a great purple leafed plant! Thanks for sharing the info about it.
Very stunning photos! I hear about edible plants all the time, and I am too chicken to eat them. I suppose I wimp out when it comes to bitter flavors. like some people love dandelion leaves. Echh!

Dragonfly Lady said...

Last weekend I saw my purple oxalis, they are indeed a colorful addition to the garden. Enjoy : )

Liz said...

I too love Oxalis and have a number of different varieties! I will never be without adenophyllia, I'm completely bewitched with its leaves and flowers...

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Hmmm... purple as the color of leaves, and how do they do photosynthesis without green chlorophyll?... a slight deviation from what teachers taught in schools.. haha. ~bangchik

LynnS said...

Your photos really do show-off this plant nicely. There is a delicate papery quality to the leaves, but it's the purple tones and that equilateral triangle that I find most attractive.

Very nice post. Leaves are so beautiful!

Garden Girl said...

What a lovely oxalis. We have 2 varieties in North Carolina that are weeds, a green leafed one and a reddish purple leafed one- they look more like a clover leaf and have tiny yellow flowers and exploding seed pods that scatter seeds far and wide. People eat the green one- its very lemony.

Bay Area Tendrils Garden Travel said...

Wonderful post .... I love this oxalis. I had a lovely variegated colorful variety but it was toooo tender for my region :(
Lost all of it over one winter, although it was growing in any number of places throughout my garden.
I posted a photo of a species at the San Francisco Botanical Garden: Oxalis deppei 'Iron Cross' - but yours is a stunner!! Alice

Teresa said...

Oxalis is such a beautiful plant. Yours are great in that bed. It's nice to see them in the ground. Not to many people around here put them in the garden. They are more of a house plant because they are not hardy here. I have one in my garden and one in the house. Mine has been blooming all summer long in the garden, but it's days are numbered as fall progresses. I will bring it in soon. THanks for visiting my blog. The sunflower "paintings" are digitally done on the computer. They are photos that I took and added a watercolor filter to on my photo program. I think it is such a cool effect that can make an ordinary photo great. I wish I could say I painted them. Thanks for stopping by.

Muhammad khabbab said...

wow what a beautiful oxalis and the one i have never seen before. i mean, look at the foliage, do we still need flowers to get enchanted???

Ross said...

It seems there's a strong Oxalis fan club growing around here!
I love it too, but I think its a truly undervalued plant, especially as most people here in South Africa see them as weeds...

Nell Jean said...

The purple leaved oxalis is beautiful. We always have the little green oxalis wilding in garden beds here, spreading by corms and seed. It really needs to be herded up and turned into an edging.

flowergardengirl said...

I very much enjoyed this post. I have a small patch of one of the varieties which is covered up with some annuals right now--that need to be thinned. I hope the oxalis didn't get choked out. I think I'll get some for indoors. I've seen it at a local indoor plant shop. It is very pretty and I too love the pattern of burgundy and purple.

Sue said...

It looks great in the ground! I have a green one, and one like yours in pots that I have to bring into the house in the winter.

Amy said...

I love it! I wonder if it would grow in zone 8? I will have to check it out. Pretty post!