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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Purple Shamrock - Oxalis regnellii 'Atropurpurea' aka Oxalis triangularis


This is my Purple Shamrock plant.
I love the delicate pale lilac flowers and maroon-purple leaves.
If you ask the seller in Malaysia, they'll tell you that it is called the "Butterfly Plant".




Scientific name: Oxalis triangularis
Synonym: Oxalis regnellii 'Atropurpurea'

Common names: Wood Sorrel, False Shamrock, Purple Oxalis, Lucky Shamrock, Love Plant

Family: Oxalidaceae
Category: Perennial herbaceous plant
Origin: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay


“Purple Shamrock - Oxalis regnelli 'Atropurpurea' or Oxalis triangularis?”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on May 3rd, 2012.


Purple Shamrock is a popular gift plant during St Patrick's Day.


The flowers and leaves are borne on different stalks. Flowers are in clusters. There are 3 traingular-shaped leaves on each leaf-stalk.

It should be grown in partial sun on free-draining soil. Propagation is by division of plants and bulbs. The plant may go through a dormant period. You can unearth the bulbs, cut the side-bulbs and replant them.

"Sleeping leaves" at 8:30pm (Picture updated on 8 May 2012)
Members of the Oxalidaceae have divided leaves with leaflets showing "sleep movements", opening up when there is light and closing at night.

The formation of the leaflets look like 3 butterflies facing each other. I used to be confused with another Red Butterfly Wing plant, Christia vespertilionis which has has quite similar leaf colour and patterns. However, the leaves are arranged in pairs and the flowers are very different.



This plant is listed as
1. Oxalis regnellii 'Atropurpureain the book, "1001 Garden Plants in Singapore"
2. Oxalis triangularis in the book "Tropical Horticulture and Gardening".

Now, I have a question: 
Does Oxalis regnellii and Oxalis triangularis refer to the same plant? 

Note: Updated on 7th May 2012
I have already updated the post with the correct name of Purple Shamrock. My grateful thanks to Mr Subjunctive of Plants are the strangest People blog for the useful link and clarifications.

This is my entry for
1. Fertilizer Friday hosted by Glenda at Tootsie Time, link here.
2. Todays' Flowers TF#203, link here.

34 comments:

  1. They are supposedly the same plant. Not too sure which is the junior synonym to whom. Some ppl use regnellii for the green-leafed white flowered one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sean, yeah, I have read about the green-leafed white flowered one but haven't come across this plant at the nurseries yet.

      Delete
  2. That is so pretty. The blooms are lovely but that foliage is gorgeous.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cher, it is indeed a pretty plant. I am most intrique by their foliage which opens up in the early morning and closes by nightfall.

      Delete
  3. They do. O. triangularis is the correct name according to Plant List.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr Sub, thanks for the useful link and clarifications!

      Delete
  4. These are sweet. I have the oxalis with green leaves and light purple blooms. I love it. It just grows all by itself. :-)

    FlowerLady

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flower Lady, I certainly would love to have the green leaved one as well!

      Delete
  5. Very beautiful delicate and sweet flowers ..
    Best regards, Karin

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is the most challenging and the most exhilarating plant to have in my garden. They are so beautiful - and they can just go dormant or die if they are too much watered or too little watered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. James, challenging plant? I must take not of this.

      Delete
  7. Very pretty flowers. This is one plant that I've never attempted to plant in my garden. They appear too delicate for my liking. However, after looking at your images, I truly feel inspired to plant it one of these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stiletto, this plant is unique; the stems, leaves and flowers. The seller advised me not to overwater the plant.

      Delete
  8. I like this plant too! The leaves do resembles butterflies, so gentle and delicate! My garden is totally lacking of flowers right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kitchen flavours, your garden may be lacking in flowers, but it is certainly filled with aroma and edible, leafy goodness!

      Delete
  9. Quite a delicate looking flower. I am presuming the name Butterfly plant comes from the way the leaves look and not the flower? It is a pretty plant even without the flowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patty, you are so right! The name comes from the leaves, and it is the foliage which attracted me first.

      Delete
  10. aloha,

    i've never seen these blooming, thanks for sharing, they are beautiful in bloom also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Noel, I'm quite sure the plant will be quite home in beautiful Hawaii.

      Delete
  11. This is not a familiar plant to me, so I can't help with the correct name. It is just beautiful, and I wish it would grow here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This plant has juicy stems and bulbs that stores water, I guess. The plant is quite drought tolerant. I bet it can grow well in your area.

      Delete
  12. There you go. Mr. Subjunctive saved the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bom, yeah I agree - Mr Subjunctive the Saviour.

      Delete
  13. So many varieties of Oxalis. They were growing like weeds all around New Orleans. These are plants with character! Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth, such lovely weeds in New Orleans? Wow!

      Delete
  14. Thank you for your advise regarding copyright. Many people benefit from it including me.
    The yellow-coloured oxalis flower is consider a notorious weed in the region where we live. During mild weather they flourish like a carpet field of it. That is a nice colour. Did not know that it is call butterfly plant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diana, glad to know your copyright issues are resolved now. The yellow-flowered oxalis flower weed your are talking about - is it Oxalis corniculata? Well, I am posting it today.

      To the ordinary folks, the buyers and sellers, these are butterfly plants. Same goes for Christia verstiperlionis, the Butterfly Wing and Clerodendrum ugandense, the Butterfly Bush. It'll be so confusing if not for botanical names.

      Delete
  15. I just noticed that I had a comment from about a month ago from you. I barely check my blogs anymore, too much going on to keep up with those now.
    But I wanted to thank you for your comment and I miss visiting your blog so I hope to get back into in later this year.
    Your Oxalis are so pretty!
    Love,
    Rosey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosey, hope you come back soon. I miss you!

      Delete
  16. Hi, I came accross this blog looking for this plant. When I was attached to a michelin restaurant in Germany and we used this as a garnish for a cheese dish. Would appreciate if i could contact you to talk about your work. You can email me at mgteoh@kdu.edu.my

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Darren. Thank you very much for visiting my blog. Will be writing to you with my reply soonest possible.

      Delete
  17. This plant is soo lovely. I have one with me. I got it from my friends house. It looks so delicate. I live in a very hot place ( The indian summer you see). Can you give me some tips on how to take care of this plant in summer. It is presntly in a very small pot and is blooming with flowers. I water this small pot twice a day becasue this is summer. Any other suggestions Please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I think you are doing it right. Don't overwater the plant, also don't let the soil dry out. Apply a diluted fertilizer once a month. When the plant is too big for its current pot, you can divide/split them up and repot into a few containers.

      Delete

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