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.