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 2016. Oxalis corniculata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

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

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. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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