Oxalis stricta

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOxalidaceaeOxalisOxalis stricta


An erect annual of cultivated ground, disturbed areas and paths, in shaded or semi-shaded situations. It spreads by seed or occasionally by underground rhizomes. Seed is freely set by self-pollination, and forcibly ejected from the capsules over a distance of up to two metres. Lowland.



World Distribution

Native of N. America and E. Asia; extensively naturalised in temperate Europe.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.7

Annual Precipitation (mm): 895

Life form information

Height (cm): 40

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Rhizome shortly creeping

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 396

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 27

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 4

Atlas Change Index: -0.09

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 (95d)
Lovett-Doust L, Mackinnon A, Lovett-Doust J
1985.  Biology of Canadian weeds. 71. Oxalis stricta L., O. corniculata L., O. dillenii Jacq. ssp. dillenii and O. dillenii Jacq. ssp. filipes (Small) Eiten. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 65:691-709.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
Rich TCG, Jermy AC
1998.  Plant crib 1998.
Watson (1997)
Young DP
1958.  Oxalis in the British Isles. Watsonia. 4:51-69.