Oxalis Corymbosa

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

This morning, I set out to post a different photo until I was reminded that it is St. Patrick’s Day, a day I most often associate with clovers. Technically oxalis and clovers aren’t the same thing, but they are often mashed together around this particular holiday. In truth, I’m going through a rather rabid oxalophile phase (am I the first to coin this term?) and don’t really need an excuse to post a photo of anything oxalis, or clover for that matter.

I found this particular oxalis growing in an area of Dominica called Giraudel, right beneath the nipple fruit, in fact. The plant is used locally as an herbal tea for sore throats and has the local name ‘Malgoj.’* I saw it several times throughout the island, and later in St. Lucia as well.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved
This is what the leaves look like.

* Source: “Caribbean Wild Plants and Their Uses” by Penelope N. Honychurch.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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6 thoughts on “Oxalis Corymbosa

  1. Great pic for St. Patrick’s Day.
    Just ordered both of your books. Can’t wait to start digging in the garden!
    Thanks for your continued plethora of information.

  2. it’s always fun to hear about your caribbean travels and see the photos. i have that book you referenced! i bought it in grenada many years ago and felt lucky to find it – all those interesting plants but not a lot written about them. maybe there are more books now. pink wood sorrel grows in NC, too. it is vigorous and pretty, but frustrating to move or get rid of. soon i will have hundreds of singular clovers showing up where i moved a clump but missed a minute piece. (it produces tons of tiny bulbils.) very pretty, though, snd doesn’t seem to be bothered by any pests or diseases.

  3. Darcia: I bought that book because it was written by a Dominican (although i got it at the St. Lucia airport). You’re right that there are too few books and none of them are particularly great. I can’t imagine the market is big for them though.

    I think the super hot and humid climate must really limit the growing potential for these oxalis. They thrive but they don’t seem to be nearly as invasive as they are where you are or in other more temperate climates.

    Meighan: Thanks! I love the thin lines in the centre of the flower. My friend Bary has some really pretty oxalis in bloom right now.

  4. Just a friendly FYI, if you plant Oxalis, it will spread and spread and you can’t get rid of it. If you decide to plant it, it’s best in a container. :) Otherwise, yes, it’s beautiful for St. Patrick’s Day. :)

  5. I am a fellow oxalisophile. I cannot get enough! I find them growing wild in areas of the lawn and transplant them to make larger, more visible clumps.
    I recently moved to Alaska, so I’m itching to see if the oxalis I bought (a yellowy orange kind) will do the same for me her as it did in the south. If not, I’ll just bring it indoors. Thank you for the books, love all the useful information. You rock!

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