Oxalis drummondii mature: The end of the cycle

Oxalis drummondii: Mature purple wood sorrel

One could think butterflies were perched in the oxalis patch at first glance. A closer inspection was due as this was a curious sight to me and I do not recall ever having seen it prior to this past week. While there are at least two sub-species of oxalis with yellow/orange leaves, they do not have the magenta outline. Oxalis spiralis ‘Aurea’ (Golden oxalis) and Oxalis vulcanicola (‘Molten Lava’) are both members of the family and sport leaves that range in color from pale green, yellow, peach, and vibrant orange.

Aging leaves of the oxalis drummondii

I thought it highly unlikely that a new sub-species just popped up in the midst of this patch. None of the pictures I saw had the magenta border. However, two natural factors may be at play here. One reference indicated oxalis leaves will turn yellow when they are overwatered. Since nature and not I water these plants, I have no control over that if it is the case. However, these seems to be healthy leaves differing only by coloring. Turns out the foliage on oxalis turns yellow during the dormant period as they age in perennials (mature). In annuals, they become yellow at the end of the life cycle. I went down to take a new look yesterday, and indeed, several more of the yellow and magenta leaves are in the patch, providing a stunning contrast to the “younger” leaves.

Will wonders ever cease? I certainly hope not.

This entry was posted in Acts of Restorative Kindness, Ecosystem, Mississippi, Wildflowers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Oxalis drummondii mature: The end of the cycle

  1. Beth says:

    How interesting! Don’t you love little finds like this? I’ve always loved oxalis and remember it growing in places in my grandmother’s yard. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the magenta pattern in oxalis, just solid green. I have had a plant for many years that appears to not have survived the winter storm and plan to replace it soon as I do enjoy their cheerfulness!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      I did not know what they were, but my friend’s father gave me a clump to transplant back in Texas because I admired his in his garden border. I loved them! These just popped up the first spring we were here, but since the fire, they have burst out all over in yellow, pink, and purple, and as far as I know, this was the first year the magenta pattern emerged. I spotted them at the bottom of the hill, but since, have seen small patches of them near the top. I do love finds like this! Apparently some versions (like the Golden and Molten Lava) are often kept as house plants.

      Liked by 1 person

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