Violet Woodsorrel (Oxalis violacea)


Violet Woodsorrel Oxalis Oxalis violacea L.

(WOODSORREL FAMILY) Violet woodsorrel oxalis is an erect perennial 4-12 in. tall arising from a scaly, bulbous base. The glabrous leaves are all basal, palmately trifoliolate, and succulent. The leaflets are obovate to obcordate, notched at the tip, gray-green to bluish-green above, and reddish-purple below. Flowers are borne in umbelliform clusters with 5-petaled lavender-pink to rose-violet corollas. The capsule is ovoid or globose. The edible properties of this plant are similar to those of common yellow oxalis. Leaves of all members of this genus fold downward at dusk or in cloudy weather and open during daylight hours, a phenomenon called "sleep movement." American Indians put ground bulbs of this plant in their horses' feed to make them faster. The salts of oxalic acid of this plant can be used to remove ink spots. The capsules at maturity invert rapidly, flinging the seeds away from the plant.