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Toxic parts

The leaves contain oxalic acid, which gives them their sharp flavour. Perfectly all right in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since oxalic acid can bind up the body's supply of calcium leading to nutritional deficiency. The quantity of oxalic acid will be reduced if the leaves are cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[1].

Edible uses


Leaves and flowers - raw or cooked[2][3][4]. A delicious lemony flavour, the leaves are tender and fairly free of fibres even when they get older[K]. Both the leaves and the flowers make a very refreshing and thirst-quenching munch in the garden, they also make an excellent flavouring in salads[K]. The leaves are available from June to October and the flowers from July to October, or even later in mild autumns[K]. Use in moderation, see notes at top of sheet. Root - raw or cooked[5][2][6][3][4]. The roots are up to 10cm long and 3cm wide at the top, they are tender and juicy but usually insipid[K]. Occasionally the root has a pleasant acid flavour, we have yet to find out what causes the difference[K].



Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Oxalis deppei.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Oxalis deppei.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in late spring or early summer. Our plants have never produced seed. Division in autumn, harvest the bulbs and replant in the spring. They usually increase very freely.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Oxalis deppei. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


An easily grown plant, preferring a sandy soil in a warm dry position[5][6][3]. It dislikes dry or heavy soils[3]. Dislikes lime[3]. Prefers a southerly aspect[3].

This species is only hardy outdoors in the milder areas of Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c or perhaps a bit lower if the soil is very well-drained. The bulbs are easily harvested in late autumn, however, and can be stored overwinter in a cool frost free place, replanting them in the spring[K]. In milder winter areas a good mulch is usually sufficient to see the bulbs through the winter and they will then normally be more productive of leaves and flowers in the following year. Plants have survived the winter for several years without a mulch on our trial grounds in Cornwall[K]. A very ornamental plant, flowering freely all summer[1, K]. It was formerly cultivated in Mexico for its edible tuber[7] (this may be a mistaken entry that should have referred to O. tuberosa. Whilst the root of this plant is edible it is neither productive nor very flavourful. The leaves and the flowers are far superior[K]).

This species is closely related to and probably part of O. tetraphylla[8], differing only in its sessile bulbils and truncate leaves[9].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Oxalis deppei. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Oxalis deppei.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Oxalis deppei
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    2. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    3. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (1878-00-00)
    4. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    6. ? Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden. Ten Speed Press ISBN 0-89815-041-8 ()
    7. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    9. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)