Scientific Name: Oxalis stricta

Common Name: common yellow oxalis

Other Common Names: sheep sorrel, sourgrass, toad sorrel, yellow woodsorrel

Synonyms: Oxalis stricta var. piletocarpa, Oxalis stricta var. Oxalis stricta var. villicaulis, Oxalis stricta var. decumbens, Ceratoxalis coloradensis, Ceratoxalis cymosa, Oxalis bushii, Oxalis coloradensis, Oxalis cymosa, Oxalis europaea, Oxalis fontana, Oxalis interior, Xanthoxalis bushii, Xanthoxalis coloradensis, Xanthoxalis cymosa, Xanthoxalis dillenii var. piletocarpa, Xanthoxalis interior, Xanthoxalis rufa, Xanthoxalis stricta

Habit: This erect perennial can be found growing from mid spring to late autumn, flowering from May through September. Depending on the climate, it may also act as a summer annual.

Leaves: The leaves are composed of three leaflets growing on long petioles. The leaflets are heart shaped and are fringed with hair.

Identifying Characteristics: Stems can range from green to pink in color, and can also be smooth or hairy.

Flower Seed Head: The flowers are yellow with 5 petals. They grow in clusters of 1-4 on long stalks from the leaf axils.

Seed Fruit: The seeds grow in 5-sided, hairy, cylindrical seedpod resembling okra. When mature, the seedpods explode, throwing the seeds up to 13 feet away.

Where Found: This plant occurs in moist, fertile sites. Often found in lawns and roadsides.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Oxalidaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: heart

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Stem hairs: no hairs; has hairs

  • Flower color: yellow

  • Growth habit: prostrate and nonwoody; upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: trifoliate

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower diameter: dime; nickle; pencil

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: longer than leaf