Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Oxalidaceae
Oxalis perennans

Citation: Haw., Misc. Nat. 181 (1803).

Synonymy: Oxalis exilis, Oxalis perennans

Common name: None

Herb with fibrous and branching roots, sometimes a woody tap root; stems erect or ascending, sometimes creeping, to 30 cm, branching, sparsely or densely covered with antrorse hairs, rarely nearly glabrous; leaves cauline; petioles usually 1-4 cm, with antrorse and often also spreading hairs; stipules small, connate to the petiole-base; leaflets 3, cuneate-obcordate, 2-15 mm long, 2-15 mm broad, with a deep incision to three-fifths of their length, usually with straight divergent lobes, glabrous to pubescent above, with hairs only on the mid-nerve to pubescent below, ciliate; peduncles axillary, extending above or as long as the leaves, with antrome hairs; pedicels erect, sometimes deflexed after fruiting.

Flowers 2 or 3, rarely to 5 in an umbel, small plants usually with solitary flowers; sepals oblong, 3-5 mm long, with only some hairs at the top to pubescent, often ciliate; petals yellow, 6-12 mm long.

Capsule cylindrical, 4-30 mm long, densely covered with short retrorse hairs, rarely less hairy.

image of FSA2_Oxalis_per.jpg Oxalis habit, branch and leaf.
Image source: fig 387b in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Distribution:  S.Aust.: NW, LE, NU, GT, FR, EA, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   New Zealand. Occurs in a very wide range of habitats.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: throughout the year.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: Quite often plants are attacked by fungi. These plants may have swollen ovaries, curved fruits and fungal threads on various parts of the plant. In addition fungal filaments apparently resemble the multi-cellular hairs, characteristic for other species of Oxalis.

Taxonomic notes: This is a very variable species. Some authors define in addition to O. perennans, a species O. exilis Cunn., having the following characteristics: plant and leaflets small, flowers usually solitary; fruits 3-9 mm long. Such specimens are found in S. Aust., but there is a gradual transition from the characteristics of these plants into those of O. perennans. Some of the small fruits are less hairy. There are a few plants in the collection with fruits not or less extending above the leaves and leaflets with a small incision and rounded lobes. In these characteristics they resemble O. corniculata. 3 of them have fruits with only a row of short appressed retrorse hairs on the edges and in the middle of the carpels. 1 is from the SE and the others from the SL region.

Author: Not yet available

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