Interest in Michael Vassar Oxalis

Christiaan van Schalkwyk
Mon, 14 Sep 2009 03:23:29 PDT
Hi Celeste - and other interrested parties !

There is a complete list of his Oxalis collections available - and I were 
fortunate to receive a printed copy of this list from a fellow pbs-er. I 
scanned the list and converted it to a Word document (19 pages). 
Unfortunately there are many spelling mistakes, and I haven't gotten round 
to fix all these, and on the orriginal list those species that either did 
not survive ar were destroyed are marked, which I have not yet done on the 
Word document. This list, however, is available to those who want it (Please 
request it PRIVATELY). (Should I upload it to the wiki?)

I see that quite a few of those offered on the BX are labelled as O. 
luteola. Although I do not have any of those offered, so I cannot speak for 
them from observation, I do grow some other MV plants that he labelled as O 
luteola, which are actually O. purpurea. This could be true of MV4960B, and 
if you look at his description of  MV5752, it is definitely not O. luteola. 
The difference are as follows: O. purpurea OFTEN has shorter peduncles than 
O luteola, the flowers are thus carried inside or just above the leaves, 
while O luteola has much longer peduncles, thus the flowers are extended 
above the leaves. BUT O. purpurea's bracts on the peduncle are ALWAYS 
alternate, and at or below the middle of the peduncle, while that of O 
luteola are at a articulation above the middle of the peduncle. There are 
other differences, like the shape of the buds and the way the leaves dry 
that are useful, but these could be quite tricky.

The Oxalis with Michael Vasser Collection numbers offered on the latest BX 
were the following:
3. Oxalis MV5567, yellow, dark center
O. luteola. 1.2km up road to Paleisheuwel, 60km south of Clanwilliam, in 
coarse red sand. 1 1/4 inch light yellow flowers with a more golden yellow 
center; borne on 2 inch peduncles. Linear alternate bracts 1/2 inch up from 
base. 1 1/4 inch dark green leaves with red hairs at edges, red underside, 
stems green, center lobe largest, on 2 inch stems. Bracts alternate, linear, 
± halfway down stems.. Compact plants, Bulbs dark brown, 1 1/4 inch tall by 
3/4 inch wide, tapered at top and bottom; sand sticking to bulbs. + +

4. Oxalis MV6341
O. obtusa. Niuwoudtville area, Bulbs were among bulbs of Lachenalia elegans 
var. suoveolens. 1 1/2 inch bright yellow flowers two inches above the 
leaves. Bracts one inch below the flowers, No scent. 3/4 inch leaves in 
tight, compact rosettes. + +

5. Oxalis MV5630A
O. sp. Vanrhynshoek, top of mountain in a level area among big rocks in a 
dark red, heavy soil. Small, non-winged, light brown bulbs, 3/4 inch light 
lavender-pink flowers, No bracts. Light sweet scent. Tiny, tufted plants. 
Plant early.

6. Oxalis MV5532, white/yellow
O. ambigua. 123.6km south towards Loeriesfontein below the turnoff from 
Pofadder on a west facing rock and light brown-red sand, Small plants, forms 
many bulblets at top of stems, 1 1/2 inch ivory flowers with light yellow 
centers and a light yellow reverse. Bracts 1/2 inch up from stem base. No 
scent. 1 inch leaves. +

7. Oxalis MV 4960B
O. luteola? 20km southeast of Sutherland, on north facing gravel hill. Bulbs 
not winged, longer and narrower than 4960. 1 1/2 inch yellow flowers. 
Central leaf lobe is larger, green underside to leaf. Many tiny bulbs form 
near and above old bulbs. Bulbs 1 1/8 inch tall by 1/2 inch wide; dark 
reddish-brown, stiff thin tunics; pointed tip and bottom, bottom not as 

8. Oxalis MV5667
O. luteola, 13,4km south of Nieuwoudtville, full sun, light brown soil. 1 
1/2 inch bright yellow flowers. 1 inch diameter leaves, very hairy on 
surface, green underside, Bracts on flower stems. + +

9. Oxalis MV 5752, yellow
O. luteola. 20km into the Pakhuis Pass, 3/4-1 inch medium light golden 
yellow flowers with a wide shallow tube; 3/4 inch peduncle, Light green 
hairy sepals, Alternate linear bracts near base of petiole, Leaves dark 
glaucous, 3/4 inch diameter, red underside, red hairs at edges; light red 
3/4 inch stems. Dense, dark leaves, to 3/4 inch, red underside. Leaf 
rosettes 3 inches in diameter, 1 1/2 inches tall, very compact. + +
NOTE: this is probably not O luteola!

10. Oxalis MV5117
O. commutata? Vanrhynshoek, half way up canyon, south slope. Very small 
rosettes and leaves, compact and dense. 1/2 inch lavender flowers well above 
the leaves. Petal reverse is half yellow, 1/2-3/4 inch leaves, Must have 
full sun, Flowers fragrant. +


----- Original Message ----- 
> Hello Everyone,
> The new PBS BX has quite a few of the late Michael Vassar's oxalis.  I 
> found descriptions of some on the WIKI but would be interested in knowing 
> if Michael had passed on notes on his collection and if so, where could I 
> find them?  >

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