Oxalis stricta

Yellow woodsorrel

Botanical description: While not in flower, Oxalis stricta bears a strong resemblance to clover—with three heart-shaped leaflets. The bright yellow flowers, somewhat tubular in shape, mark the difference. Oxalis begins to bloom in early spring, continuing through autumn. Yellow wood sorrel prefers sunny, moist, nutrient-rich soil. It can tolerate drought, like many others in the urban flora, but can also grow in shady conditions. Oxalis can be found in suburban lawns and gardens as easily as it can be spotted in the urban environment, in pavement crevices, drainage ditches and tree pits—wherever the soil has been disturbed. Seeds are explosively dehiscent, meaning that if you touch a ripe seed pod, it will open and broadcast its seed, just as jewel weed. It is quite prolific, quickly cycling from flower to seed. The leaves, stems and flowers are edible and good to be added to salads. Because of the lemony flavor of the leaves, they are used to make flavored drinks and as a stuffing for fish dishes.



Place of Origin

Europe and North America