Oxalis pes-caprae L.


Sp. Pl. 434 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Herb with stems only developed when plants crowded or growing in shade; bulbs ovoid, 8–15(–30) mm long, pointed, tunics pale brown; bulbils formed on white fleshy rhizome and in lower leaf axils. Leaves crowded, 3-foliolate; leaflets subsessile, cuneate-obcordate, 5–30 mm long, 5–30 mm wide, bilobed, green (often purple-flecked above), glabrous above, sparsely pubescent below, margins ciliate, sinus to c. one-quarter leaflet length, lobes oblong, divergent, apices rounded, 10–35 mm apart; petioles usually 5–20 cm long, terete, glabrescent to sparsely hairy; stipules membranous, narrow, to c. 10 mm long, abruptly tapering into petiole. Inflorescences basal, (3–)6–15(–20)-flowered; peduncles longer than leaves, sparsely hairy; pedicels covered with a mixture of antrorse simple hairs and spreading glandular hairs. Sepals lanceolate, 5–7 mm long, indumentum similar to pedicels, green at base, reddish at apex, usually with 2 orange apical calli. Petals 15–25 mm long, yellow. Capsule not developed in Australia. Flowers mainly Jun.–Nov.

*CVU, *DunT, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MuF, *MuM, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *RobP, *Strz, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Naturalised all States, New Zealand. Native to South Africa. A widespread and difficult to eradicate weed of gardens, orchards, roadsides, river banks, arable land, and native vegetation.

Prolonged consumption by stock can cause chronic kidney damage and death.

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 pes-caprae in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Oxalis pes-caprae in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales