ID in an Andean canyon

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 14:59:22 PST
Andrew, That is a very interesting paper. I'm still not sure where my succulent Oxalis falls within the group. I have attached photos of what appears to be Oxalis tuberosa taken about 20 miles or so south of Lima. The Peruvian coastal plain is about the dreariest place I have ever been and these yellow flowers stuck out like little neon lights among shades of gray. I also attached a photo of Oca taken at a farmhouse outside Cajamarca at about 3300 meters elevation. They are as tasty as they are beautiful!

I did not have a permit to collect plants, so I just collected some Tillandsia seed at various places along the way. (Hopeful I should live so long to see them flower!)

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, 1:32 PM

Hi Gregg!

That is certainly not an oxalis that I grow! It is conceivable that it is a
member of the Oxalis tuberosa alliance or one of the many hybrid oxalids
that local people around Cusco eat. Take a look at this paper:

"Origins of domestication and polyploidy in oca (Oxalis tuberosa:
Oxalidaceae)" 3: AFLP data of oca and four wild, tuber-bearing taxa.
Eve Emshwiller, Terra Theim, Alfredo Grau, Victor Nina and Franz Terrazas
2009. American Journal of Botany.  96(10):1839-1848

or, if online:…

Some of the images of tubers in Fig. 2 in that paper could be consistent
with yours. Hybrid plants produce much largers tubers than the original
species do. Did you bring any back?

San Diego

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


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