Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Thu, 13 Nov 2003 17:58:59 PST
Dear All,

When Jim Holmes spoke in South Africa on Oxalis I attempted to take notes, 
but that was made a bit challenging since I also was looking at the slides 
at the same time. And there was no slide list so I had to guess on the 
names. So I am not sure how helpful any of this information is or how 
accurate for that matter, but here is what I wrote about the species:

Oxalis tenuifolia--grows in sand, vanishing quickly, red stripe on back

Oxalis pulchella--looks like purpurea, dark leaves, bright yellow flowers

Oxalis polyphylla--white to pink, small

Oxalis purpurea--grows in crevices, needs good light
Note from Mary Sue, this one can be a bit invasive in California, but it is 
attractive and long blooming. My experience has been that it doesn't bloom 
at all if it doesn't get a lot of sun

Oxalis flava--dry sandy soils, very deep. Many leaflets, many different 
leaflet types, some darker forms. Not always happy in a pot. Flowers 
sitting on ground without leaves if not potted in time. Has largest flowers 
in the group.

Oxalis pulchella--large flowers, very hot conditions, grows on rock in 
Tonka Karoo where it gets little rain. Found in cracks on bottom, fragrant, 
no direct sun. Apricot, yellowish, floriferous

Oxalis salteri--leaves look almost primula like, pure yellow or pure white 
flowers in small populations, none in between. Grows very dry, but not very 
deep. In flava group, more advanced.

Oxalis namaquana--looks like flava, but doesn't fit

Oxalis cathara--flowers late in single populations, similar to flava bulbs, 
but smaller. Some double forms.

Oxalis palmifrons--from very cold area, leaves flat on ground. Reluctant to 
flower in cultivation. Need bigger bulb. (I have no idea what the last 
sentence means.)

Oxalis livida--tight rosettes, from damp areas, very variable

Oxalis punctata--large flowers, very pretty, found in Nieuwoudtville, short 
stemmed to tall

Oxalis luteola--very floriferous, bulb looks like a stone which protects 
the bulb

Oxalis luteola minor--smaller leaves and flowers

Oxalis hirta--widespread, many forms, salmon, orange, white, yellow. 
Variation is tremendous.

Oxalis massoniana--related to hirta, known from Nieuwouldtville, lovely, 
long blooming

Oxalis convexula--Worcester, very succulent, rosette flat or rosette that 
stands, produces bulbs around ? (Note from Mary Sue, is this the one that 
produces thousands of what could be baby bulbs around the top of the stem?)

Oxalis obtusa--very showy. Comes from dry regions. Bulbs small, concave. 
Those from Namaqualand are yellow, those from southern areas are pink. Late 
blooming. Seed of this species has capsules that allow it to survive the 
long summer, unlike other species

Oxalis livilans--needs to be kept wet

Oxalis glabra--stoloniferous, makes small colonies, wet seepy areas, white 
to mauve, small bulbs

Oxalis monophylla--found in Cape Town area, Gordon's Bay

Oxalis monophylla minor, seep area, single standing leaf, covered in fine 
tissues, bulb sits on basal plate with 6 or 7 on one plate. One or two 
flowers from each bulb. Not true of any other group.

Oxalis dregei--single leaf, grows in running water

Oxalis nortieri--single leaf, flowers like purpurea, looks like nothing else.

Oxalis comosa--flowers with three colors. Found in flat, wet areas, 
Nieuwoudtville, not many with three colors

Finally, Cape Plants by Peter Goldblatt and John Manning devotes 8 pages to 
Oxalis found in the Cape floral province of South Africa. The section is 
written by B. Bayer. This book incorporates the key and since there is no 
index to the plants this drives me crazy when I am trying to find a plant 
listed since they are divided into nine sections in the key. For those of 
you who do not have this book these are the sections:

A. Peduncle more than 1 flowered--10 species including some of the pesty 
ones (O. corniculata, O. pes-caprae)

A.' Peduncle  1-flowered

B. Leaves unifoliolate--4 species

B.' Leaves usually 4 or more folioate--7 species

B.'' Leaves trifoliolate

C. Peduncular bracts at an articulation

D. Leaves bifurcate to middle or below--3 species

D. Leaves not bifurcate--13 species

C. Peduncular bracts not at an articulation or lacking

E. Plants caulescent with leafy stems; lower leaves at least subsessile or 
sessile; peduncles often cauline--13 species

E. Plants acaulescent or caulescent but then leaves apically congested and 
distinctly petiolate; peduncles terminal

F. Leaflets linear-conduplicate--18 species

F. Leaflets oblong to obcordate

G. Leaflets fleshy, often small, epidermal cells large--12 species

G. Leaflets not as above--40 species

Does this key follow Salter? Would any of the botanists in the group be 
willing to translate this into terms we could all understand?

Mary Sue

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