Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Oxalis pilosa

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.
Reference: Lourteig 2000 Bradea 7:201--629
Unabridged Reference: Eiten 1963 Amer Midl Naturalist 69:257--309; Lourteig 1975 Phytologia 42:57--1979; Turner 1994 Phytologia 77:1--7
Oxalis pilosa Nutt.
Habit: Taproot +- woody, generally > 4 mm diam. Stem: erect to decumbent, < 40 cm, rooting at nodes or not, hairs 0.7--1.2 mm, dense, generally spreading. Leaf: leaflets < 1.5 cm, appressed-hairy. Inflorescence: 1--3-flowered; pedicel < 2 cm, hairs dense, generally spreading, occasionally appressed. Flower: sepals 3.5--6 mm, lanceolate, tips ciliate; petals generally 8--12 mm, yellow. Fruit: 12--18 mm, hairs simple, short, appressed, and multicellular, spreading.
Ecology: Coastal grassland, scrub, chaparral; Elevation: < 1800 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, NCoRO, n SNF, CW (exc SCoRI), SCo, WTR, PR (exc SnJt); Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Mexico. Flowering Time: Feb--Sep
Synonyms: Oxalis albicans Kunth subsp. pilosa (Nutt.) G. Eiten; Oxalis corniculata L. subsp. pilosa (Nutt.) Lourteig; Oxalis corniculata L. var. wrightii (A. Gray) B.L. Turner
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Robert Ornduff
Reference: Lourteig 2000 Bradea 7:201--629
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Oxalis pilosa

botanical illustration including Oxalis pilosa


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Robert Ornduff 2012, Oxalis pilosa, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=35601, accessed on July 06, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 06, 2020.

Oxalis pilosa
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Oxalis pilosa
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Oxalis pilosa
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© 2004 Aaron Schusteff
Oxalis pilosa
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© 2016 Neal Kramer

More photos of Oxalis pilosa in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Oxalis pilosa:
NCo, NCoRO, n SNF, CW (exc SCoRI), SCo, WTR, PR (exc SnJt)
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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).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).