Oxalis succulenta, herrerae, carnosa, megalorrhiza

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Wed, 02 Feb 2005 16:41:20 PST
Dear All,

I was very busy during the time you were having your discussion prompted by 
John Connell's question about his plant and whether it was Oxalis 
succulenta or Oxalis herrerae. But in my job of wiki clean-up I was trying 
to figure out what to do with Liz Waterman's pictures that she did not put 
on a page since she was unsure of the identity (O. herrerae, O. 
peduncularis or O. gigantea. So I read through the thread and looked at all 
the pictures.

Andrew Broome who is a member of our list from New Zealand who is very 
interested in Oxalis and runs an Oxalis list on Yahoo and has an excellent 
web site as well posted on that list some different information than was 
supplied on this list so now I am very confused. He thought Liz's pictures 
looked like what he grew as Oxalis herrerae. He stated that the Oxalis from 
the Australian Bulb Gallery pictured as Oxalis herrerae was the plant he 
was growing as Oxalis megalorrhiza which is something that a number of us 
have known as Oxalis carnosa, a species that reseeds prolifically, can be 
in bloom off and on all year. Mine is best in spring and fall and can go 
dormant in summer if I don't water it, but springs back to life with good 
care. A lot of people grow it from seed every year thinking new ones are 
more attractive, but if you give the old ones new soil and a deep pot I've 
found they can look lush as well. On that same list a Japanese member 
offered this:
"I uploaded some photos of Oxalis peduncularis, O. herrerae (O. 
succulenta  misapplied), O. gigantea to my web site. O. megalorrhiza also 
can be seen there.
Please look at
http://ne.jp/asahi/morio-m/… "

I don't have Salter, but do have the Oxalis checklist so I looked up these 
four plants to see if I could learn anything from it.
Oxalis carnosa Molina
This one is supposedly from Chile, is described as single stem to about 15 
cm., fleshy 3 foliage leaves, flowers yellow. There is a note from Clifton 
that his plants under this name are self fertile and seed everywhere, but 
he doesn't know if it is Molina's plant. Someone else suggested that this 
plant was a synonym for another plant. Whether this is the correct name or 
not this is the name given to me for the plants I got from Andrew Wilson 
that look like the ABA Oxalis herrerae and which others have said is Oxalis 
megalorrhiza and looks like the picture of that plant on the Japanese link.

Oxalis herrerae Knuth
 From Peru, no descriptive data

Oxalis megalorrhiza Jacq.
 From Peru, but no descriptive data

Oxalis succulenta Barn.
 From Chile
Description: Glabrous, root thick, stem short, simple, thick, scaly, scales 
pubescent; petioles fleshy, terete, erect, glabrous. Leaves = 3 leaflets, 
broad obcordate, fleshy, apex slightly emarginate, pubescent below, above 
glabrous, leaflets sessile. Peduncle = erect, succulent, terete, glabrous, 
apex dichotomous, multiflowered, flowers small, yellow, on thin pedicels, 
petals twice the size of sepals. Seeds = striate, capsule pubescent, many 

There is no descriptive data for Oxalis peduncularis in Clifton (from 
Ecuador), but O. gigantea from Chile is described as shrubby, 1-1.7m; root 
woody, perennial; stem lignose, thick erect, branching, flshy, puberulous, 
branches short, abortive,many, scale with petiole bases; leaves 3-foliate, 
smal,entire, ovate, obtuse, fleshy, pilose below, abouve 
cellulose,glabrous; peduncle short, 4-10 mm long, 1-fld., 2 bracts; fls 
yellow, petals just longer than sepals

David Victor thinks the flowers of Liz's plants look like what he grows as 
Oxalis succulenta, but I expect most of us including David would need more 
than flowers for a confirmation since so many Oxalis flowers look alike. I 
am very confused now. Do any of these descriptions help you Liz to identify 
your plants?  Can anyone offer some clear way to sort these plants out? I 
believe they can be very difficult to photograph and therefore those of us 
who are looking at the pictures have a difficult time to sort our the 
differences from the pictures. If I can get consensus about Liz's plants 
I'll rename them. Otherwise I may just remove the files.

Thanks for any help.

Mary Sue

More information about the pbs mailing list