New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: Naturalised
Oxalis pes-caprae is a low growing perennial broadleaf plant that's considered an invasive weed in most countries. The mature plant has a loose basal rosette of leaves growing from the bulb. It has fully subdivided compound leaves, each consisting of three heart-shaped leaflets that resemble clover leaves. The leaves are green, lighhter on the underside, hairless to sparsely hairy, often with brown or purplish spots. It can be distinguished from creeping woodsorrel by its more upright growth, larger leaves and flowers and the lack of a seed capsule.
The flowers bloom in winter and early string in clusters, with less than 20 flowers per cluster, on the ends of slender leafless stalks. Each flower has 5 bright yellow petals. The plant reproduces by bulbs and bulbets which are dispersed by cultivation or other soil movement such as the disposal of nursery soil and garden waste.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader