ID in an Andean canyon

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 11:30:43 PST
Andy and Ernie.
Here is a photo of an Oxalis I photographed in Sept. on an exposed, seasonally dry hillside above a river in Cusco Province, Peru. I had no idea what it was at the time. Each segment is about 7cm long, arising from a thickened semi-geophytic base. A fascinating plant to me. Any ideas on the species? We saw no flowers as it was too early in the season and still very dry- in fact, much higher up wildfires had been burning for over a week and lit up the night sky.

Gregg DeChirico
Santa Barbara, California

--- On Fri, 11/19/10, AW <> wrote:

From: AW <>
Subject: Re: [pbs] ID in an Andean canyon
To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <>
Date: Friday, November 19, 2010, 9:04 AM

Hi Ernie:

Well, that makes it three out of three for an Oxalis species. Thanks to all
who replied. As a longtime devotee of the genus I am constantly being amazed
by its diversity. This species, stipularis as you suggest, or some other, is
worth knowing about. The long leaves, like rabbit ears, made a surprising
sight near the base of a cliff face among cacti and begonias. Where will
Oxalis appear next?!

I looked up O. stipulata through GBIF and found that only 6 localities of
the species were known, all of them in Mexico, none of them south of there.
So, it may be a different species. For now, I'll label it as Oxalis sp.
(aff. stipulata). Does your plant have the silvery leaves like this one?
From herbarium images shown it was, of course, not possible to tell leaf

I could not wait around for the plants to bloom. It was springtime there,
almost three years ago to the day, in fact. Other plant species were
blooming, but not these guys. 

Andrew Wilson
San Diego

Hi Andrew,
That foliage looks an awful lot like Oxalis stipularis, which is a South
American species.  It grows very freely during summer, multiplies very well,
and can sit dry in a pot for winter.  One would need to see flowers to
confirm the ID, and there are lots of other oxalis in South America, but O.
stipularis is definitely a possibility.  
Ernie DeMarie
Tuckahoe NY Z6/7


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