Oxalis corniculata (Procumbent Yellow-sorrel)


A scrambling annual or short-lived perennial herb which is often a pernicious weed of cultivated land, disturbed areas and paths. It is self-compatible and the seeds are explosively ejected up to two metres from the capsules. Its brittle stems readily root at the nodes. Lowland.



World Distribution

Native range unknown; now found in warm temperate and tropical regions throughout the world.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.9

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.8

Annual Precipitation (mm): 843

Life form information

Height (cm): 15

Perennation - primary


Perennation - secondary


Life Form - primary


Life Form - secondary

Therophyte (annual land plant)

Comment on Life Form

Not clear from books whether mainly annual or perennial



Clonality - primary

Extensively creeping and rooting at nodes

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 998

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 32

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 11

Atlas Change Index: 1.62

Weighted Changed Factor: 71

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (95c)
Biology of Canadian weeds. 71. Oxalis stricta L., O. corniculata L., O. dillenii Jacq. ssp. dillenii and O. dillenii Jacq. ssp. filipes (Small) Eiten,
Lovett-Doust, L., Mackinnon A., and Lovett-Doust J.
, Canadian Journal of Plant Science, Volume 65, p.691-709, (1985)

Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
Hultén, E., and Fries M.
, Königstein, (1986)

Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols,
Meusel, H., Jäger E., Rauschert S., and Weinert E.
, Jena, (1978)

Plant crib 1998,
Rich, T. C. G., and Jermy A. C.
, London, (1998)

Watson (1997)
Oxalis in the British Isles,
Young, D. P.
, Watsonia, Volume 4, p.51-69, (1958)