Robin Attrill robin@rpattrill.freeserve.co.uk
Fri, 14 Nov 2003 00:06:14 PST

Some comments on Mary Sues references to the Jim Holmes talk etc.


> Oxalis flava--dry sandy soils, very deep. Many leaflets, many different
> leaflet types, some darker forms. Not always happy in a pot. Flowers
> sitting on ground without leaves if not potted in time. Has largest
> in the group.

It grows fine in large pots - some forms are very vigorous.

> Oxalis palmifrons--from very cold area, leaves flat on ground. Reluctant
> flower in cultivation. Need bigger bulb. (I have no idea what the last
> sentence means.)
The bulbs tend to divide readily but it is very shy flowering. Possibly deep
planting may assist the production of fewer, larger bulbs which may be more

> Oxalis livida--tight rosettes, from damp areas, very variable
In my experience  species does not form rosettes - it is caulescent with a
very elongated mode of growth.

> Oxalis obtusa--very showy. Comes from dry regions. Bulbs small, concave.
> Those from Namaqualand are yellow, those from southern areas are pink.
> blooming. Seed of this species has capsules that allow it to survive the
> long summer, unlike other species
The late flowering species such as obtusa are the ones which possess
reasonable seed longevity for the reason stated. The same is true for the
south american spring flowering taxa. Autumn flowering species from winter
rainfall areas tend to have transient viability .

> Oxalis monophylla
An interesting curiosity with attractive purple flowers. Easy to grow.

> Finally, Cape Plants by Peter Goldblatt and John Manning devotes 8 pages
> Oxalis found in the Cape floral province of South Africa. The section is
> written by B. Bayer. This book incorporates the key and since there is no
> index to the plants this drives me crazy when I am trying to find a plant
> listed since they are divided into nine sections in the key. For those of
> you who do not have this book these are the sections:>
> Does this key follow Salter? Would any of the botanists in the group be
> willing to translate this into terms we could all understand?
Salters book splits them into 11 sections, some of which have a number of
sub sections, and there are a couple of species which do not fall into any
section! I do not have the Cape Plants book you refer to, although I have
the earlier tome by Goldblatt and Bond,which covers a similar area, but
would remind users that it covers a discreet geographical area and there are
many winter flowering South African Oxalis that may not appear in the keys!

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