ISI 2016-19. Oxalis purpurea ‘Garnet’ K. Musial

Oxalis purpurea is one of the most commonly cultivated ornamental species of the genus. In Mediterranean-climate gardens it is persistent and spreading, dying back to the ground in summer and re-emerging with winter rains as it does in its native South Africa. While it may be difficult to eradicate once established, it is not the horticultural horror that is the rampantly invasive, yellow-flowered O. pes-caprae, widely known by the common name “Bermuda buttercup” (it has spread there too!) or sourgrass to children who enjoy plucking and chewing the succulent petioles, tangy with oxalic acid. The foliage of O. purpurea is less succulent and stays closer to the ground. The leaves of this newly described cultivar ‘Garnet’ are a rich purple. The species is usually green-leaved with white or pink flowers; those of ‘Garnet’ are magenta and like the others have a yellow throat. The name was coined by Huntington botanist Kathy Musial for this colorful form obtained in August, 1993 from Gentiana Nursery, in Olinda, Victoria, Australia. We offer divisions of HBG 75896, $7.

Photo © 2016 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 88 (3), May-June, 2016