Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Oxalis corniculata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OxalidaceaeView Description 

Habit: Annual, perennial herb [vine, shrub, tree]. Leaf: compound (palmate [pinnate, or leaflet 1]), alternate, often +- basal in rosettes or at stem or rhizome tips in clusters, generally petioled, stipules generally 0, leaflets generally sessile. Inflorescence: cyme, umbel- or raceme-like or not, or flowers 1, generally in axils; peduncle bracted. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; sepals 5, free or fused at base; petals 5, free or fused above base; stamens 10[15], fused below, of 2 lengths; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers [3]5, placentas axile, styles [1]5, generally +- free. Fruit: generally capsule, loculicidal. Seed: generally arilled.
Genera In Family: 5 genera, number of species uncertain: especially temperate. Note: Often heterostylous.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Robert Ornduff
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: OxalisView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Roots fibrous or woody; bulbs, tubers, or rhizomes often present. Stem: +- 0 or not. Leaf: stipules 0 or small; leaflets 3, generally +- obcordate [not], generally entire, generally green. Flower: petals clawed; styles erect or curved. Fruit: cylindric to spheric, explosively dehiscent. Seed: flat, often ridged; aril translucent.
Species In Genus: 500--950 species: especially temperate. Etymology: (Greek: sour, from acidic taste) Note: Taxonomy difficult, needs study; generally heterostylous; many (especially aliens in California except Oxalis micrantha) ornamental; some noxious weeds; oxalates may be TOXIC to livestock; Oxalis latifolia Kunth possibly naturalized in CCo (Keil 30389, just north of San Simeon), differs from Oxalis purpurea in having flowers in umbel-like cyme; Oxalis hirta L. an historical waif (no recent collections), excluded.

Oxalis corniculata L.
Habit: Perennial herb; taproot fibrous, generally < 4 mm diam, bulbs 0. Stem: rooting at nodes, < 50 cm, hairs appressed to spreading. Leaf: cauline; petiole < 7 cm; leaflets < 2 cm, ciliate, hairs generally 0 adaxially, sparse, appressed abaxially. Inflorescence: cyme, +- umbel-like or not, 2--7-flowered; pedicel < 1 cm, hairs appressed. Flower: sepals < 4.5 mm, linear to narrowly ovate; petals generally < 8 mm, oblong to spoon-shaped, yellow, often with red spots below middle. Fruit: 6--25 mm, cylindric, +- angled, hairs simple, short, generally appressed.
Ecology: Disturbed areas; Elevation: generally < 1900 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCoRO, n&c SNF, GV, CCo, SnFrB, SCo, PR, expected elsewhere; Distribution Outside California: worldwide; native to Mediterranean Europe. Toxicity: Possibly TOXIC in quantity to sheep. Flowering Time: +- all year
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Robert Ornduff
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Previous taxon: Oxalis californica
Next taxon: Oxalis incarnata

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botanical illustration including Oxalis corniculata


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Robert Ornduff 2017. Oxalis corniculata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 18, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 18, 2017.

Oxalis corniculata
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© 2001 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Oxalis corniculata
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Oxalis corniculata
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Oxalis corniculata
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Oxalis corniculata
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© 2003 Michael Charters

More photos of Oxalis corniculata in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Oxalis corniculata:
NCoRO, n&c SNF, GV, CCo, SnFrB, SCo, PR, expected elsewhere;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.