oxalis in rock gardens

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sun, 03 Nov 2002 17:09:31 PST
Thanks to Claude Sweet for doing research on his projected article. I'll
start the ball rolling by mentioning the Oxalis species (other than the
weeds!) that I'm able to grow in the open here in northwestern Oregon,
where typical winter lows are around 15 degrees Fahrenheit/minus 10 degrees
Celsius, and about 45 inches/115 cm of rain falls between October and June.

Oxalis obtusa survives in the open but does not flourish as well as it does
(i.e., rather too well) in my unheated bulb frames. It remains very small
but it does flower. O. squamata from the foothills of central Chile does
well most years and produces its pink flowers all summer; I think it might
become a pest in a warmer zone, but the winters keep it reined in here. O.
adenophylla is a standard plant for dry walls and the peaty rock garden
here. I think O. laciniata and O. enneaphylla would probably do well but I
don't have enough to risk them yet so am growing them in pots on my deck,
plunged and out of the rain in winter. I've tried O. purpurea 'Ken Aslet'
outdoors but it died out both times; its foliage seems not to be able to
take the winter wet.

Jane McGary
NW Oregon

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