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Oxalis stricta L.

Common Name(s):
Common yellow woodsorrel, Lemon clover, Pickle plant, Sourgrass, Yellow woodsorrel
Annuals, Perennials, Wildflowers

Common yellow woodsorrel is in the Oxalidaceae family.  It is considered a weed in many turf and garden areas.  It grows best in spring or fall in warmer climates but plants will be present year round. These plants are perennial, spreading by rhizomes and stolon, as well as by seeds. Seeds are forcefully expelled up to 16 feet away out of cylindrical seed pods, much like Impatiens spp. Seeds have no dormancy and may germinate quickly. Flowers are bright yellow. Identifying characteristics include: heart-shaped leaflets on trifoliolate leaves and cylindrical seed pods. Leaves resemble those of clover, but woodsorrel is not in the legume family.  The leaves curl up at night and open in the morning to photosynthesize.  It prefers, dry to moist well-drained sandy-loam, alkaline soils.  It can grow in nurtritionally poor soil. This plant resembles the common yellow woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata L.)

Insects and Diseases: Plants harbor whitefly and mites. 

Management of Oxalis stricta L.:  Sanitation is critical in controlling woodsorrel in container plants, especially in propagation areas. Do not let plants go to seed. Inspect all new plant materials before planting for infestations of this weed. Woodsorrel from seed is well mangaed by most preemergence herbicides. Once established it is nearly impossible to completely remove woodsorrel rhizomes and stolons. 


full sun to shade
bright green
Flower Color:
alkaline, sandy loam, well-drained, nutrient poor
woodlands, meadows, disturbed areas
North America, Eurasia
weedy, weed

NCCES plant id: 3080