Plants of
South Australia
Oxalis flava (∗)
Finger-leaf Oxalis
Display all 12 images

Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.


Oxalis from the Greek 'oksos' meaning sour; referring to the taste of the leaves and stems caused by the oxalic acid, especially the flowering stalks of Oxalis pes-caprae. Flava from the Latin 'flavus' meaning yellow; referring to its large trumpet-shaped flowers which can be yellow, white or pale lilac.

Distribution and status

An introduced species native to South Africa and is recorded from the lower Eyre Peninsula, southern Mount Lofty ranges and the upper South-east in South Australia, probably a garden escape. Also found in Western Australia. Introduced. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Stemless perennial herb with an ovate bulb ovate to 3 cm long. Leaves in a tuft at soil level often not fully expanded, hairless, leathery, slightly succulent, smooth, greyish-green, with large brown stipules and divided into 2-12 narrow to elliptical, folded leaflets. Leaflets to 25 mm long and 7 mm wide, oblong-linear, linear to elliptical, channelled-connivent, each at first folded lengthwise, then expanded, obtuse or acute, with a small point. Inflorescence a single large trumpet-shaped flowers of white, yellow, or sometimes pale lilac. Flowering between April and September. Fruits are long capsules but not known to produce any in Australia. Seeds are not known to set seed in Australia