Oxalis obtusa Jacq.

Yellow-eye Wood-sorrel

Oxalis 06, t. 79 fig. 1 (1794) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Herb with stems developed only when plants growing in shade; bulbs ovoid, 5–15 mm long, often fusiform, deeply pitted and irregularly angled, tunics tough, reddish- to blackish-brown; bulbils formed in axils of scales along rhizome. Leaves basal, 3-(rarely 5-)foliolate; leaflets subsessile, variable, often dimorphic, obcordate to linear-emarginate, 4–10(–25) mm long, 3–7(–25) mm wide, shallowly bilobed, green, sometimes purplish below, glabrous to pubescent on both faces, margins ciliate, sinus to one-eighth leaflet length, lobes with rounded apices 2–5(–12) mm apart; petioles 1.5–5.5 cm long, sparsely hairy; stipules inconspicuous, membranous, to c. 1.5 mm long, abruptly tapering into petiole. Inflorescences basal, 1-flowered; peduncles longer than leaves, sparsely hairy. Sepals oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 4–8 mm long, glabrous to pilose, base with some retrorse hairs, margins ciliate, rarely with apical calli. Petals 10–15(–25) mm long, pale yellow to pale salmon-pink with fine dark red veins, usually a deeper yellow in throat. Capsule not developed in Australia. Flowers mainly mainly Aug.-Oct.

*GipP, *Gold, *OtP, *VVP. Currently known from Australia only in Victoria. Native to South Africa. Possibly a garden-escape, collected from northern and eastern Melbourne suburbs (e.g. Reservoir, Eltham, South Yarra), Geelong area, and north-central Victoria. Occuring in Themeda triandra dominated grassland on basalt-derived soil and dryish woodland on shallow soils (e.g. with Eucalyptus leucoxylon, E. melliodora, E. microcarpa. Locally common on shallow soils of road verges, even extending to the bitumen pavement.

Across its natural distribution, the flower colour in Oxalis obtusa varies from pink, reddish, yellow, pale yellow to orange. The plants in Victoria mostly have pale yellow to pale orange-fawn flowers.

Source: Conn, B.J.; Jeanes, J.A.; Richards, P.G. (1999). Oxalidaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2020-09-02
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Oxalidales
family Oxalidaceae
genus Oxalis
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Oxalis obtusa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Oxalis obtusa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present introduced
Otway Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map