Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Oxalis oregana (Oxalis, Wood Sorrel)



 Plantae Plants


 Tracheobionta Vascular plants


 Spermatophyta Seed plants


 Magnoliophyta Flowering plants


 Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons






 Oxalidaceae Wood-Sorrel family


 Oxalis L. woodsorrel


 Oxalis oregana Nutt. redwood-sorrel

Note: Throughout the years I've written short articles for our website's home pages (home pages are the front page of a website) about these plants. They are now included at the bottom of this page, and are illustrated by botanical drawings and paintings, some of which are from books published from 1500 - 1900.

A superb forest ground cover perennial and very companionable with other woodland plants. In the photo below, it has formed a cozy relationship with Spring Queen (Synthyris reniformis)--note the lavendar-pink flowers tucked amid the Sorrel foliage. Synthyris reniformis blooms between February and August.

The delicate leaves are similar to clover leaves and grow 2-6 tall. They will fold in on themselves when the sun goes down or on very dark days.

Found between BC and California, west of the Cascades (hardy between USDA zones 7-10), Wood Sorrel needs the shade of larger plants.

With regular watering it can completely fill in an area.


From Homepage June 12, 2009

By Diana Hansen-Young


Plant some Oxalis in your kitchen garden or a pot by the door  - let it grow all summer - snip what you need. It has a tang to it, almost citrus like. A zingy zesty addition to your salad - taste one!!!!!

Interesting background for our summer salad special from George:

Some weeks ago a customer pointed out that Oxalis oregana, commonly called Wood Sorrel, is edible, and has an interesting after taste. Perhaps many of the other oxalis varieties taste similarly, but I don't know. He said it is also called deer clover. In any case, when people ask about ground covers, as we walk around the nursery, I pull a piece, offer a leaf to them, as I eat a leaf. I believe the interesting taste is the oxalic acid in low concentration. In small quantities the leaves can provide an interesting taste to salad. Oxalic acid dissolved in water is used to clean gray, weathered redwood and cedar, to return some of its red color.

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