Oxalis recommendations?

Christiaan van Schalkwyk cvschalkwyk@lantic.net
Wed, 05 Nov 2008 02:06:46 PST
Hi Jim

> ......to me Oxalis is an alternate spelling for 'weed'.

Unfortunately some species are rightly called weeds, in my experience they 
are all American species !! Seriously, though, I guess most Oxalis could be 
potential weeds if the conditions are good for them and IF they could escape 
from cultivation. All South African species are bulbous and many produce 
underground runners. If kept in pots on a shelf they will not escape, some 
might try the drainage holes as an escape route, but if checked regularly 
this can be prevented. It is also an indication that the potsize is too 
small. See also #3 below.

> 1. Hardy
Most of the winter growing species should be fairly hardy, maybe some of the 
American growers should comment on this. The summer growing species are 
dormant in winter, and should also be quite hardy.

> 2. Easy to winter over in a cold climate
Someone else with experience, please ?

> 3. Not likely to jump around and become a new weed in pots
Not likely to do so - seed production is very limited and rare in most 
species of South African Oxalis because not all three (or at least two) of 
the stylar forms that are needed for polination to occur are available in 
collections. Mostly the species propagate vegetatively, and thus would stay 
inside the pot where it was orriginally planted. Seeds might be produced in 
larger collections if many different localities or forms of similar species 
are present, as it increase the likelyhood that more than one stylar form is 
present. Four species-groups come to mind: Oxalis hirta, Oxalis obtusa, and 
Oxalis flava/fabaefolia/namaquana, O purpurea.

> 4. Showy
If  looked after well most South African species can be beautiful during 
flowering, some species have unfortunately only a short flowering time. Some 
are quite nice as leafy plants, eg. O. flava, O. palmifrons, O.bowiei

> Can someone give a list of top 10 easy/hardy etc Oxalis for
> pot or ground?

My favourites: O amigua, annae, bowiei, convexula, glabra, inaequalis, 
lawsonii, obtusa, purpurea, tenella
O. obtusa and O. purpurea have may different forms, and you can build up a 
decent collection with only these two species. (I have more than 50 
different O. obtusa colours and forms, and will easily accept more !)

hope this helps



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