Oxalis spiralis subsp. vulcanicola ‘Zinfandel’

Common Name: “Volcanic Sorrel”; “Velvet Oxalis”; “False Shamrock”

Scientific Classification:
Order: Oxalidales
Family: Oxalidaceae
Genus: Oxalis
Species: O. spiralis subsp. vulcanicola
Cultivar: ‘Zinfandel’

Note: The “subsp.” in the name stands for sub-species.

Native To: Central America and western South America

Growing Specs: 

  • Appearance: Has a mounded growing habit and will grow up to 10″ tall. Foliage shade is green to dark purple. Looks great cascading out of a pot or windowbox.
  • Flowering: Little yellow flowers bloom through the spring and summer in cooler climates (blooms for a longer period in warmer climates).
  • Hardiness: Annual growing season except for in USDA zones 9-11. Hardy to 28 degrees F.

Care Requirements: Part sun to mostly shade is ideal, especially in the hotter months. It does need some sun protection. Regular weekly watering is recommended. Overall, it is generally pretty low maintenance.

Propagation: By root division. Divide a portion of the tuberous rhizome from the main rootstock, place it in a small pot of moistened peat moss with a little bit of sand mixed in. Surround it with a plastic bag, and keep it warm in medium light until new roots develop.

Toxicity: Due to the oxalates, this plant is poisonous to pets if ingested in large doses. Check out my Pet Safety Guide for more information.

Xylem Rising’s Observations: These are prolific little yellow flowers, blooming all year-round here in Northern California it seems. During the summer, some of the leaves started to lose their color and dropped before the plant pushed out a bunch of new leaves at the beginning of California autumn. When the temperatures cooled, the leaves gained back their vibrancy, and I saw a great deal of new growth.




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All photo rights belong to Cristie R. Kiley. Please ask permission before taking.

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