Monday, March 17, 2008

O is for Shamrock

Simply said oxalis is one tough, resilient plant. Dig up a bed of these and each little bit of rhizome or root will make a new little plant.

I've planted purple oxalis (Oxalis regnellii 'Atropurpurea' ) here and there in dappled shade and in morning sun areas with good results considering they are growing in amended sand which is still never really moist except for after a rain. This particular plant is always in our greenhouses and is not used enough for planting outdoors. It is native in Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. It was first cultivated in the United States in 1930. Purple oxalis likes part-shade (at least protection from the hot afternoon sun), rich moist sandy soil, and is hardy to zone 7-11. Its hardy here and they are just now popping their purplely heads out of the sand. I planted a couple of them in dappled shade mid-winter and they are still evergreen though look a bit scruffy.

Oxalis crassipes "Pink" is more hardy than the showier purple. They are supposed to be hardy down to zone 5 or 6. They remain evergreen for me if given enough moisture. I was recently pleased to see the ones I had planted in early spring of last year that had disappeared into the sand with the drought have been starting to poke up out of the ground.

We also carry "Alba" which of course sports a white flower.

1 comment:

beachgrl said...

I have the pink one! I had it planted outside and it did well in our zone 6. Last fall I decided I wanted it inside so I dug it up and planted it in a nice pot. It has bloomed all winter in a sunny windowsill for me. Makes a great houseplant, but it loves water and cries if you don't give it enough...ha The others make great houseplants too.