Oxalis recommendations?

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Wed, 12 Nov 2008 07:44:48 PST
Late October and most of November are the busiest time of the gardening year
for me, and as a result I have not had the time to respond to several of the
interesting threads now running. The Oxalis thread – and the growing number
of Oxalis images on the wiki – are a real pleasure. Thanks so much to
everyone taking the time to do this. 

I grow two horticultural groups of Oxalis here: the winter dormant sorts
(these are mostly from Mexico I gather) and a pathetic two southern African
winter growing sorts, O. purpurea ‘Garnet’ and O. ‘Ken Aslet’. These two
winter growing forms grow in the ground in a protected cold frame and have
been outside year ‘round for several years. 

Oxalis purpurea ‘Garnet’ always begins growth with green foliage here; the
intense color does not come until later. It blooms here, but not freely.
‘Ken Aslet’ has never bloomed here. 

Out in the garden there is also O. articulata in white-flowered and
pink-flowered forms. Last summer this was blooming when I brought home pots
of an unnamed Sisyrinchium: I put them together for a photo and they
harmonize nicely. You can see them here: 


I have several of the presumably Mexican summer growing Oxalis; these do
very well here as pot plants and escapees sometimes survive the winter in
the ground.  

Earlier this week I began to dig these Mexican sorts for storage indoors
during the winter. I’ve been meaning to post an image of the summer storage
roots these have, but these roots don’t last long and in the past they have
been gone by the time I got around to trying to photograph them. This year I
got them, so I’ve added an image of the odd icicle-radish-like structures
which form beneath the bulb clusters of Oxalis lasiandra. These are also
seen in O. tetraphylla/deppei. The first time I saw these I assumed that
they were storage roots which would persist during dormancy. But in fact a
few days after the bulbs are dug they fall off or deliquesce. They are not
firmly attached to the bulb clusters and are easily detached in rough
digging. These bright white roots look very sapid to me: does anyone know if
they are edible? Take a look here: 


Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7, where Crocus hermoneus is blooming now. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/
BLOG! http://mcwort.blogspot.com/
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin http://www.pvcnargs.org/ 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society http://www.potomaclilysociety.org/

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