Oxalis ruscifolia

Hannon othonna@gmail.com
Thu, 27 Dec 2012 14:17:08 PST

Most or all contemporary living material of Oxalis rusciformis I am aware
of was originally collected near the estate of Roberto Burle-Marx. It is
apparently native to that area of Brazil (the mata atlantica). I think John
Banta in Florida is largely responsible for introducing it and distributing
it in recent years.

This unlikely oxalis grows rather slowly as a 'micro shrub' with thin stems
and not much drought resistance in pots. It is not geophytic by any means.
Propagation by cuttings is not difficult.

The most notable feature of O. rusciformis, as the name suggests, is that
what appear to be "leaves" are in fact phyllodes or leaf stalks (petioles)
that are modified to be broad and flat and resemble leaf blades. The actual
leaf blades are three small leaflets that are caducous (soon deciduous),
leaving the phyllodes to perform photosynthetic services for several years.
In this way the morphology resembles that of some acacias (e.g., A.
melanoxylon) in their transitional state from juvenile to adult foliage.

This would probably be a good house plant and I believe Logee's is offering
it this year. Cold hardiness is probably very limited.

Dylan Hannon

On 27 December 2012 12:29, jonathan <fatsia1234-pbs1@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I would appreciate any information that might be available on Oxalis
> ruscifolia.  Thanks.
> Jonathan Lubar
> Alachua/Gainesville, Florida, z8b/9a
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