Quiet Oxalis

We have a small plant in our yard that is very quiet and unobtrusive.

It started at the grocery store around St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago. There was one pathetic, droopy “shamrock” in a pot on display.

Of course, my son wanted it. He has inherited my tendency to be a sucker for underdog plants. We brought it home.

With some water and tender care, it survived. Eventually we determined that it’s scientific name is Oxalis, so it isn’t a true shamrock, which is a clover.

We planted it in the garden and eventually it died back in the summer. We didn’t really pay much attention, because everything dies in the summer here.

In the fall, we were pleasantly surprised when some tiny stems began to emerge again. We discovered that Oxalis plants go dormant.

Soon it was doing fine and even flowered.

Looks like our “shamrock” is actually a pink woodsorrel, Oxalis debilis.

Pink woodsorrel is introduced from Europe, were it can be weedy. Here in Arizona it sits quietly in a shady corner of the garden, not taking much care, only grabbing our attention once in awhile with these bright pink flowers. It has turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

Have you ever brought home a plant that surprised you?


2 responses to “Quiet Oxalis

  1. Your son has a good heart – and in this case, a good eye. Pink oxalis is one of my favorite garden plants. Not a thug here in the SE part of the country either..it just quietly forms a small, pretty little mound. Occasionally I’ll break off a chunk and move it elsewhere or give it to a friend as a pass-along.

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