Oxalis - TOW

awilson awilson@avonia.com
Wed, 12 Nov 2003 17:45:44 PST
Alerted to the fact that this group was discussing Oxalis I could not resist
from peeking and adding a few words of my own. Much has been said about
their free spreading habits that are really the bad habits of just a handful
of species and there is no need to further belabor that point. But there are
three species in bloom here just now that share common traits - all are
beautifully foliaged, all have lovely flowers, all are in bloom despite the
rain that fell on them last night. And all seem to be able to cope with the
depradations of birds and rodents. Indeed, they have increased modestly in
number just because of those attacks. No, they are not invasive. They do not
seed here. It is just that when a bird of animal scratches pots and digs out
bulbs they seem to avoid these three species and, in fact the bulbs (corms)
sometimes get kicked into adjacent pots. As a result, all three species now
occupy a relatively well represented portion of my collection.


Which species are these? O heptaphylla, O. pentaphylla and O. polyphylla.
They form a rather unusual group, but a rather choice one. All three have
"phylla" appended because, when named, it was the unique, multiply
dissected, ferny leaf structure that provided the epithet (7, 5 and many,
respectively). What I like about them is that I can distribute them among
other areas of my benches where they provide floral elegance and foliage
structure that is often missing from the irids and the amaryllids. At
present, Stumarias and Hesseas are in bloom. But they do look somewhat
bedraggled, despite their delightful blooms, These plentiful oxalids enhance
the overall appearance on the bench. And they will continue to do that even
when they have stopped flowering, probably by Christmas unless we get more
hot weather before then. 


I have no idea why these three species have benefitted from the pillaging
done by the local fauna. Their corms are smaller than most but I have lost
many beautiful species with small corms. Maybe, they just don't taste as



San Diego, California   

More information about the pbs mailing list