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 or pale orange-fawn with fine dark red veins. Capsule not developed in Australia.

*GipP, *Gold, *OtP, *VVP. Native to South Africa. Probably a garden-escape, collected from Melbourne suburbs Reservoir, Eltham and South Yarra. In Reservoir it is naturalised in the Central Creek Grasslands in Themeda triandra dominated grassland on basalt-derived soil. It is also naturalised at Buckley Falls in the Geelong area where growing in Themeda triandra community, and at Betley in north-central Victoria, where abundant in an Avena crop, as well as along roadside, and also invading Eucalyptus leucoxylon and E. microcarpa woodland.

The flower colour in Oxalis obtusa across its natural distribution varies from pink, reddish, yellow, pale yellow to orange. The plants in Victoria 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: Val Stajsic, 2018-07-24
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