Help with Mystery Oxalis

Ron Vanderhoff
Sun, 18 Dec 2005 12:27:48 PST
Mary Sue,
  Here's my opinion on the three Oxalis . . .
  The first Oxalis is almost certainly O. luteola.  The late Michael Vassar of The Huntington Botanical Gardens collected a few different versions of O. luteola with this characteristic purple splotching and streaking on the upper surface of the leaflets.  For me, the plants with these markings have nearly identical morphology and behave in all other ways the same as some straight O. luteola. The flowers on these speckled clones appear to be perhaps a little paler and not quite as brassy yellow as in the straight species.  Diana Chapman at Telos offers one of these selections under the cultivar 'Splash'.  Like all the O. luteola's, in southern California it is a long bloomer beginning in October and not finishing until January.
  The second species I will only say is likely a member of the O. flava tribe. This is one of the most variable group of all Oxalis.
  The third species is almost definitely Oxalis namaquana. The glabrous leaflets in threes, arranged generally about 10:00, 12:00 and 2:00, oblong and moderately cleft; the sulfur yellow flowers with overlapping petals, the fall bloom period; it all adds up.  In Michael's collection I have noticed some reddish margins on the undersides of the petals as well.
  Ron Vanderhoff
In the mild Mediterranean summer dry-winter wet climate of Southern California.

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