Oxalis palmifrons

by Jacki
(Grand Forks, B.C.)

Oxalis palmifrons

Oxalis palmifrons

Oxalis palmifrons
Close up of the leaves

What an incredibly cool looking plant this is. Neatly fan shaped leaves spread out from a central point, and they fold up at night, opening during the day.

The leaves are usually green, shading to pink tones then to a darker purple at the edges of the rosette. These are actually a bulb, which goes dormant during the summer, then the new leaves emerge as the weather (in their native Africa) cools off a bit.

Then they flower, which are white, and much larger than seems in scale to the plant.

Oxalis palmifrons makes a great little house plant, growing on a window sill in cold winter areas. Bright filtered light, watering from the bottom of the pot, and slightly sandy soil, rather than compost based suit it best. Split the plant into segments to propagate it.

It also goes by the names of Palm-leaf False Shamrock, False Shamrock and Palm Leaf Oxalis.

Why Shamrock? Well it's related to the Irish Shamrock, that three leaf clover of lore.

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