Oxalis perennans Haw.

Grassland Wood-sorrel

Misc. Nat. 181 (1803) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Herb with stems erect or ascending or creeping at least partially above ground and rarely rooting at nodes, to 30 cm long, rarely rhizomatous, sparsely to densely antrorse-hairy, rarely glabrescent; taproot stout; bulbils absent. Leaves cauline, 3-foliolate; leaflets sessile, cuneate-obcordate, 2–15 mm long and wide, green, bilobed, glabrous to pubescent above, pubescent or hairs confined to midrib below, margins ciliate, sinus to c. two-thirds leaflet length, lobes oblong to obovate, straight, divergent, apices rounded, 2–12 mm apart; petioles usually 1–4 cm long, with antrorse and often spreading hairs; stipules conspicuous, to c. 3 mm long, apex obtuse, rounded or occasionally truncate, ciliate. Inflorescences axillary, flowers (1–)2–3(–6) per peduncle, held well above leaf level; peduncles at least as long as leaves, antrorse-hairy; pedicels usually erect in fruit, sometimes deflexed (but capsules erect). Sepals oblong, 3–5 mm long, often ciliate. Petals 6–12 mm long, yellow. Capsule  8–30 mm long, 1.5–2.5 mm diam., cylindrical, usually densely retrorse-hairy, the hairs simple, patent septate hairs absent; seeds 1.5–2.2 mm long, transversely ribbed, ribs (8–)10–11, narrow, grooves wide, shallow to deep, uniformly coloured, ribs without greyish or whitish lines or blotches. Flowers throughout the year.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, MuF, MuM, MSB, NIS, OtP, OtR, RobP, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. All States. New Zealand. Widespread in natural to slightly disturbed habitats.

A variable species, possibly containing two (or more) distinct entities. Plants from drier, northern and western parts of the State are of a tufted habit, with a single large taproot, have leaflets that are deeply cleft and narrowly lobed, very long (to 150 mm) peduncles, and fruits that are at least 7 times as long as wide. Plants from higher-rainfall areas of the State are more commonly creeping, have broadly lobed, shallowly cleft leaflets, peduncles mostly to c. 90 mm long, and shorter and broader fruits (less than 7 times longer than wide). Further study is required to determine if this variation requires formal recognition, or is a response to the different habitats. Oxalis perennans may be confused with O. radicosa, but for differences see notes for that species.

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, 2020-03-24
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 perennans in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Oxalis perennans in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory