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The leaves have 3-7 thin parallel-sided leaflets that branch out at the end of leaf stalk, like open fingers.
Origin and Habitat: Oxalis polyphylla occurs in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, South Africa.
Habitat and ecology: This species grows in moist sandy flats and on rock outcrops on hill slopes in light or heavy soils.
- Oxalis polyphylla Jacq.
Oxalis polyphylla Jacq.
Oxalis [Jacquin] 75, tab. 39 1794.
Oxalis polyphylla var. pentaphylla Salter
ENGLISH: Many-leaved Wood Sorrel, Narrow-leaved Sorrel, Pink Oxalis for Kenneth, Finger sorrel
Description: The Narrow-leaved Sorrel(Oxalis polyphylla) is a perennial plant up to 30 cm tall with leaves and flowers crowded at the tip of the stem and flowering in autumn. It can be readily recognized by the brown bulb-scales and narrow, thread-like, 3(7) , folded leaflets that sometimes have sparse hairs beneath. O. polyphylla bears deep purple, rose, lilac or white flowers with yellow tube and often slightly darker margins.
Deriavation of specific name: polyphyllus,-a,-um; from Gr. poly-, many; phyllon, leaf: with many leaflets, with many leaf-segments, many-leaved.
Bulb: Rather large (the size of a hazel nut or of a walnut), roundish, covered with loose, thin, ovate, acuminate, membranous scales flesh coloured or pale brown. Oxalis polyphylla do not produce a contractile root at maturity, and the new bulb forms within the remains of the old, at the same depth.
Stem or stipe: Erect but weak, simple or branched, from 1 to 15(-20) cm long, the thickness of a pigeon's quill, leafless and scaly below, many-leaved at the summit, somewhat hairy, purplish or brownish sometimes leafless and having only distant leaves.
Leaves: Terminal and divided into 3(7) leaflets, narrow-linear or filiform, parallel-sided, channelled or involute (folded), emarginate, bicallous, glabrous at both sides or subpilose underneath; peduncles bibracteolate at the summit, longer than the leaves. Sepals lanceolate, obtuse, at length recurved.
Inflorescence: a terminal closely leafy and many flowered umbel.
Flowers: Corolla deep purple, rose, lilac or white. Filaments gibbosely toothletted. Styles middling linear.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) W. Sonder “Flora Capensis”, Vol 1, 1894
2) John Manning “Field Guide to Fynbos” Struik, 2007
3) “Encyclopaedia Londinensis, or, Universal dictionary of arts, sciences, and literature”, Volume 18, 1821
4) Pauline Bohnen “Flowering plants of the Southern Cape” Still Bay Trust, 1986
5) Hugh Clarke, Bruce MacKenzie “Common Wild Flowers of Table Mountain” Struik, 01 January 2007
6) Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2005. Oxalis polyphylla Jacq. var. polyphylla. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2015.1. Accessed on 2017/03/11
7) K.C. Oberlandera, E. Emshwillerb, D.U. Bellstedt, L.L. Dreyer “A model of bulb evolution in the eudicot genus Oxalis (Oxalidaceae)” Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51(1):54-63 · April 2009
8) Oxalis polyphylla – Plantillustrations.org web: http://plantillustrations.org/species.php?id_species=732754
Cultivation and Propagation: Oxalis polyphylla is a winter-growing species.
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