Purple Shamrock is one of the clover symbols of good luck because of its leaf shape. But, no blarney! Oxalis triangularis is a look-alike! A sham, only resembling the good luck charm.
The three trifoliate leaflets are attached to the petiole that appear to be a stem but are not.
Leaflets fold at the central vein in darkness and when disturbed. How spineless!
But seriously, the plant is amazing. The Oxalis response to lack of light and unwelcome movement is controlled by cell turgor pressure at the base of each leaf.
In this Northern Plains region, the perennial is more commonly grown as a houseplant with occasional pale pink flowers. Containers of Oxalis can be placed outdoors in light shade in summer. Indoors and out, the plant needs strong indirect light or becomes leggy. It may be cut back to regrow.
The plant is considered to be a modest maintenance plant and thrives in cooler room temperatures less than 80 degrees F. The Oxalis corm is propagated by dividing when the plant is dormant.
Leaves and flowers are used as food decoration, but don’t over-indulge, as the plant contains oxalic acid that may be harmful in excess.
Enjoy this day with green spring coming soon! Thanks for visiting Plant Exchange Blog, where we feature plants that grow in the Northern Plains and people who grow them. We hope you do join us again.
If you’re ready to see flowers outdoors, lots of garden bloggers await you to visit. Just go to the link below and find Carol’s May Dreams Gardens post for March 15th. Then at the end of her post, you will see lots of other garden bloggers ready to show you what’s in bloom where they live. Other countries are included in the group. Enjoy!