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
Leaves - raw or cooked
. Added to salads, cooked as a potherb with other milder flavoured greens or used to give a sour flavour to other foods
. The leaves are available all year round unless the winter is very cold, they have a pleasantly sour taste
, but are very small and fiddly to harvest[K]. The leaves contain about 86% water, 2.3% protein, 0.8% fat, 8.2% carbohydrate, 150mg calcium, 78mg phosphorus, 8mg iron, 0.6mg niacin, 78mg vitamin C, 6050µg beta carotene
. The leaves contain between 7 - 12% oxalate
. Use in moderation, see notes at top of sheet,
Flowers - raw. A nice acid flavour and a pleasant addition to the salad bowl[K].
There are no material uses listed for Oxalis exilis.
The whole plant is anthelmintic, antiphlogistic, astringent, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, lithontripic, stomachic and styptic
. It is used in the treatment of influenza, fever, urinary tract infections, enteritis, diarrhoea, traumatic injuries, sprains and poisonous snake bites
. An infusion can be used as a wash to rid children of hookworms
. The plant is a good source of vitamin C and is used as an antiscorbutic in the treatment of scurvy
The leaves are used as an antidote to poisoning by the seeds of Datura spp, arsenic and mercury.
The leaf juice is applied to insect bites, burns and skin eruptions
. It has an antibacterial activity
There are no medicinal uses listed for Oxalis exilis.
Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame. This plant does not need any encouragement.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Oxalis exilis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
A very easily grown plant, succeeding in a sandy soil in a warm dry position
. It prefers dry open habitats
Spreading rapidly by seed and underground bulbils, this species can quickly become a nuisance, it is a common weed of pot plants in nurseries
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Oxalis exilis. 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 exilis.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
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