Oxalis rubra - white form ?

Ron Vanderhoff rvanderhoff@sbcglobal.net
Thu, 07 Aug 2008 21:55:57 PDT
"Oxalis rubra" is one of the most confused plants in an already confused genus, Oxalis.
The plant you are probably asking about is probably best called Oxalis articulata ssp. rubra f. crassipes, although you will find this plant listed under a dozen or more different names. These might include Oxalis rubra 'Alba', Oxalis rubra 'White', Oxalis crassipes, Oxalis crassipes 'White', Oxalis articulata 'Alba', Oxalis articulata 'White' and many others.
Dr. Alicia Loureig's (deceased) paper in Phytologia (1982) on Oxalis Section Articulatae attempted to straighten out some of the confusion. It is from this paper that the correct name of Oxalis articulata ssp. rubra f. crassipes was established. In this paper she also indicated that the white flowered version of this Oxalis was described from a plant cultivated in Germany as from "South America".  Lourteig considers this plant a white-flowered mutation that has been maintained only in cultivation.  The stylar length can either be short or medium.
For a supplier of this plant, I think you'll find a few sources if you try some of the synonyms above, especially using the term "crassipes" in your search. Be aware that this white flowered version has somewhat smaller flowers than the rose-pink plants that you are probably familiar with. I also suggest that you hunt for one of the soft pink forms, which are especially attractive.
Ron Vanderhoff
Sunny Southern California where Oxalis grow easily

----- Original Message ----
From: Chad Schroter <Chad.Schroter@sandisk.com>
To: Pacific Bulb Society <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 8:49:11 AM
Subject: [pbs] Oxalis rubra - white form ?

    I was re-reading one of my older ('94) Pacific Horticulture
mags, an article on Oxalis had a picture of both white and pink flowered
O. rubra growing together. I like way the O. rubra behaves in the garden
- the large rhizomes are easy to find and it pretty much stay's put...
So I tried to locate a source for the white form on the web... No luck..
In fact I can't find any reference to rubra white or alba...

    I suppose the white could have been another species - regnellii
comes to mind - anyone have ideas ?

Chad Schroter
Gardening in Los Gatos, California
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