Under Oxalis

Sweeping up this morning’s clippings, the crimson reverse of Oxalis vulcanicola’s leaves released a startling infusion of color into the silver dustpan.


This frost-tender “Volcanic sorrel” retreats almost to its crown in the heat and relative dryness of summer, just as the garden expands and throws off the girdle of winter, then always renews its gentle forward march in a zone 10 winter, especially so after the recent heavy rains. The magenta underside to the leaves colors up bright in winter.


I’d much rather look at its leaves than bare ground, so this advance-and-retreat arrangement works out well for all concerned. When it threatens to overrun, for example, nearby anigozanthos and Lobelia tupa, a couple snips keeps the peace. Away from the coast, oxalis would prefer more afternoon shade.

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4 Responses to Under Oxalis

  1. what a luscious shade of purple and mauve! lovely!

  2. Pam/Digging says:

    There is such an intensity to its dainty leaves. Very nice! We have a larger purple oxalis here in Austin that does very well in shade. Never aggressive, but it holds its own, even in the heat of summer.

  3. Kathy says:

    Unfortunately the march here is a galloping cavalry ..

  4. Denise says:

    Janine & Pam, the color really bowled me over. My first installment of dustpan photography!
    Sorry to hear that, Kathy, but its vigor does reflect what a lush garden paradise you live in.

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