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Oxalis corniculata

Oxalis corniculata L.

Acetosella corniculata (L.) Kuntze

Oxalis corniculata L. var. atropurpurea Planch.

Oxalis corniculata L. var. langloisii (Small) Wiegand

Oxalis corniculata L. var. lupulina (R. Knuth) Zucc.

Oxalis corniculata L. var. macrophylla Arsene ex R. Knuth

Oxalis corniculata L. var. minor Laing

Oxalis corniculata L. var. reptans Laing

Oxalis corniculata L. var. villosa (M. Bieb.) Hohen.

Oxalis corniculata L. var. viscidula Wiegand

Oxalis langloisii (Small) Fedde

Oxalis pusilla Salisb.

Oxalis repens Thunb.

Oxalis villosa M. Bieb.

Xanthoxalis corniculata (L.) Small

Xanthoxalis corniculata (L.) Small var. atropurpurea (Planch.) Moldenke

Xanthoxalis langloisii Small

Xanthoxalis repens (Thunb.) Moldenke

Creeping Woodsorrel, Procumbent Yellow Sorrel, Sleeping Beauty, Creeping Wood Sorrel

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderGeranialesBalsams, mustards, geraniums, wood sorrels, nasturtiums, others
FamilyOxalidaceaeWood sorrels
GenusOxalisWood sorrels (Oxalis means “sour”)
SpeciescorniculataHorned.

About plant names...

Creeping woodsorrel is either native to or naturalized in North America. They are common, preferring waste places, lawns, and gardens.

Plants: Plants are low-growing, prostrate, up to 4" (10 cm), and rather delicate and vulnerable-looking. It spreads by producing creeping, horizontal stems (stolons) up to 12" (30 cm) long.

Leaves: Trifoliate, with three rounded heart-shaped leaflets, like clover. They fold up like miniature parasols when there is little sun. Leaves are purple-green or dark purple, and somewhat hairy, especially along leaf margins. Leaves are ⅛-⅜" (6-10 mm) × ⅛-⅞" (4-25 mm). Leafs stalks are longer than in most plants, up to 2½" (7 cm).

Flowers: Flowers are bright yellow, with five petals, in clusters of 2-7, ⅛-½" (3.2-12 mm) around, appearing from June to September. Flower stalks are erect or ascending.

Fruits: Narrow, cylindrical capsules, ⅛-1" (6-28 mm) long. When it dries it “explodes,” spreading is ¹/₃₂" (1 mm) seeds.

These are closely similar (see also this comparison):

 

Oxalis corniculata (Creeping Woodsorrel, Procumbent Yellow Sorrel, Sleeping Beauty, Creeping Wood Sorrel)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 6 × 4½" (14 × 11 cm)

Oxalis corniculata (Creeping Woodsorrel, Procumbent Yellow Sorrel, Sleeping Beauty, Creeping Wood Sorrel)

6/23/2017 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 3 × 3" (8.1 × 8 cm)

Oxalis corniculata (Creeping Woodsorrel, Procumbent Yellow Sorrel, Sleeping Beauty, Creeping Wood Sorrel)

5/19/2016 · Bemis Road Trails, Pepperell, MA
≈ 8 × 7" (21 × 16 cm)

 
Oxalis stricta
You are here
Oxalis corniculata
Common Name

Oxalis

Creeping Woodsorrel
Plant 3-8" (7.6-20 cm) tall, rarely reaching 12" (30 cm). Heavily branched, especially near the base. Stems are light green and smooth, or covered with short appressed hairs, lying flat against the stems. Younger plants may be hairier. Low-growing, prostrate, up to 4" (10 cm), and rather delicate. It spreads by producing creeping, horizontal stems (stolons) up to 12" (30 cm) long.
Flowers Yellow, in groups of 2-7 on umbels. Each flower is ⁵/₁₆-¼" (8.3-6.3 mm) in diameter, with 5 yellow petals, 5 light green sepals, 10 stamens, and a pistil. Flowers appear from late spring to mid-fall. Bright yellow, with five petals, in clusters of 2-7, ⅛-½" (3.2-12 mm) around, appearing from June to September. Flower stalks are erect or ascending.
Leaves Alternate, trifoliate, cloverlike, folding up like miniature parasols when there is little sun. Leaves appear atop upward-pointed petioles up to 2½" (6.3 cm) in length. They are usually green, sometimes outlined in purplish, rarely dark reddish purple. They are usually hairless. Leaflets are obcordate (heart-shaped), with smooth edges. Individual leaflets are ¼-½" (6.3-12 mm) in size. Trifoliate, with three rounded heart-shaped leaflets, like clover. They fold up like miniature parasols when there is little sun. Leaves are purple-green or dark purple, and somewhat hairy, especially along leaf margins. Leaves are ⅛-⅜" (6-10 mm) × ⅛-⅞" (4-25 mm). Leafs stalks are longer than in most plants, up to 2½" (7 cm).
Fruit Seed capsules occur in groups of 3-5. They look like little green bananas, bent slightly, ⅜-¾" (9.5-19 mm) long, and five-sided. Ripening capsules split into five sections, exploding seeds up to several feet away. Seeds are just over ¹/₃₂" (1 mm) long brown, oval, and flattened. Narrow, cylindrical capsules, ⅛-1" (6-28 mm) long. When it dries it “explodes,” spreading is ¹/₃₂" (1 mm) seeds.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Open woodlands, meadows, lawns, gardens, disturbed areas, and sunny waste areas. Waste places, lawns, and gardens.
Type Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Common

 

Edibility: Leaves are edible as salad greens or cook as pot­herbs if combined with other milder greens. They contain oxalic acid which is poisonous unless eaten sparingly.

Online References:

Oxalis corniculata on ipm.ucanr.edu

Oxalis corniculata on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

References:

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 176

Oxalis corniculata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 30 Jun 2017.

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Oxalis corniculata (Creeping Woodsorrel, Procumbent Yellow Sorrel, Sleeping Beauty, Creeping Wood Sorrel)

6/23/2017 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 5" (10 × 13 cm)

Range:

About this map...