Today's post is about an Oxalis (Wood Sorrel) which has yellow flowers and green leaves. Please don't be fooled by the tiny, pretty flowers that look so delicate, demure and innocent. Actually it is a weed in my garden!
In my previous post, the plant is the Purple Shamrock; Oxalis regnelli 'Atropurpurea' aka Oxalis triangularis which has lovely pale lilac flowers and maroon-purple butterfly shaped leaves.
Purple Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis) is grown as an ornamental plant in my garden while Wood Sorrel (Oxalis corniculata) is the weed.
Chinese name: :酢浆草 (ju jiang cao)
Malay name: Belimbing Pasir (Sand Carambola)
**According to the book, "Upland Rice Weeds of South and Southeast Asia" by Marita Ignacio Galinato, Keith Moody, Colin M. Piggin, International Rice Research Institute, Philippines Edi. 1999 the plant is "believed to have originated in tropical Asia, Malaysia, Australasia or the Western Pacific and probably indigenous to the Americas" (Page 60).
The leaves are trifoliate. Each leaf is made up of 3 leaflets which are rounded and clover or inverted heart shaped. They are actually quite miniature in size, i.e. about 4-15mm long and 8-32mm wide. In sunny locations, the leaves develop some purple colouration. The plant is low growing and tends to creep on the ground. The hairy stems are usually less than 50 cm long. Roots formed at the nodes where they touch the ground.
Creeping Wood Sorrel can be found in tropical as well as temperate climates.
“Creeping Wood Sorrel (Oxalis corniculata) - The Sleeping Beauty Weed in My Garden”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on May 9th, 2010.
|Oxalis corniculata - Creeping Oxalis|
Propagation is by seeds which are dispersed by water and soil movements, also by lawn movers. The fruit pod is about 1-2cm long, seeds about 1.5 mm long.
It is used in traditional Malay and Indian folk medicine. The plant has a mild acid taste due to the presence of oxalic acid. So I'm thinking if I should try getting a taste of the weed from my garden...
Notes from wikipedia:
"The leaves of wood sorrel are quite edible, with a tangy taste of lemons. A drink can be made by infusing the leaves in hot water for about 10 minutes, sweetening and then chilling. The entire plant is rich in vitamin C. Any wood sorrel is safe in low dosages, but if eaten in large quantities over a length of time can inhibit calcium absorption by the body. In India, where the plant is known as chichoda bhaji (approximately "earthalmond greens"), it is only eaten seasonally, starting around December".
Sources for further reading:
- Floral of China
- University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
- "Upland Rice Weeds of South and Southeast Asia" book - Page 60 by Marita Ignacio Galinato, Keith Moody, Colin M. Piggin, International Rice Research Institute, Philippines Edi. 1999
- Daves Garden