Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sun, 06 Jul 2003 10:23:05 PDT
Katy Lesser wrote,
>  i travelled to some of the greek islands where oxalis covers the rugged 
> hills.  naturally i smuggled a small oxalis back into the country (don't 
> tell) thinking i would have yet another variety in my collection.  but to 
> my amazement , i could NOT get this one to grow.
>i finally gave up in march, and the pot that had the specimen in it went 
>out into the garage, soil and all. yesterday, while potting a plant i 
>knocked the soil from the deal oxalis out of the pot, and found some 
>little nut-like things in the soil.  they are not the juicy tuberous 
>roots....but small acorn-shaped things, very alive. no sprouts.  what are 
>these and is there a chance i can get my greek oxalis going again?

Before you try, be sure that what you have is not one of the many (seven, 
according to Polunin's guide) introduced weed species. The "little nutlike 
things" are bulbils, which are found on most of introduced species. The 
most likely one that you got is O. pes-caprae, or "Bermuda buttercup," a 
ferocious weed in California, native to South Africa. It has big yellow 
flowers and basal bulbils. The only species I see described as native to 
the region is O. acetosella, which has white (or pinkish) flowers that are 
quite small. I don't know if any of these pests would survive outdoors in 
Vermont, but if I lived there I would not risk it!

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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