Oxalis melanosticta vs. O. purpurea 'Ken Aslet'

totototo@telus.net totototo@telus.net
Tue, 11 Jul 2006 13:37:43 PDT
I have an oxalis bought years ago from Avon Bulbs as "Oxalis 
melanosticta." Somewhere along the line, the word went out (perhaps 
via a later catalogue from Avon Bulbs) that this was improperly named 
and the correct name is(was) "Oxalis purpurea 'Ken Aslet'.

[Ken Aslet was head gardener at the RHS Wisley garden and there are 
other plants he picked out that memorialize him, Tropaeolum tuberosum 
'Ken Aslet' being perhaps the best known.]

Checking the wiki, I see that the entry for O. melanosticta says it 
is usually is commonly grown as O. purpurea 'Ken Aslet' with the 
implication that this latter name is wrong. There is also a picture 
of O. purpurea w. yellow flowers and it sure doesn't look like my 

Can anyone give us an authoritative rundown on this nomenclatural 
confusion? What *is* the right name of that silvery leaved yellow 
flowered tuberous oxalis? Is there really an Oxalis purpurea 'Ken 
Aslet' as well? Is it the same as the yellow flowered O. purpurea 
that has been wikificated?

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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