If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Oxalis corniculata

L.

Oxalidaceae

+ Synonyms

Acetosella corniculata (L.) Kuntze

Acetosella fontana (Bunge) Kuntze

Acetosella stricta (L.) Kuntze

Oxalis albicans sericea DC.

Oxalis bradei R. Knuth

Oxalis chinensis Haw. ex G. Don

Oxalis fontana Bunge

Oxalis grenadensis Urb.

Oxalis jamaicensis Macfad.

Oxalis langloisii (Small) Fedde

Oxalis lupulina Kunth

Oxalis meridensis Pittier

Oxalis norlindiana R. Knuth

Oxalis pilosa Nutt.

Oxalis pilosiuscula Kunth

Oxalis preissiana Steud.

Oxalis procumbens Steud. ex A. Rich.

Oxalis pubescens Stokes

Oxalis radicosa A. Rich.

Oxalis repens A. St.-Hil.

Oxalis repens Thunb.

Oxalis simulans Baker

Oxalis steudeliana Kunth

Oxalis taiwanensis (Masam.) Masam.

Oxalis thunbergiana Montr.

Oxalis trinidadensis R. Knuth

Oxalis tropaeoloides Schlachter ex Planch.

Oxalis tubistipula Steud. ex Phil.

Oxalis villosa M. Bieb.

Oxys corniculata (L.) Scop.

Oxys lutea Bubani

Oxys lutea Lam.

Oxys lutea Moench

Oxys stricta All.

Xanthoxalis albicans (Kunth) Small

Xanthoxalis corniculata (L.) Small

Xanthoxalis langloisii Small

Xanthoxalis repens (Thunb.) Moldenke

Xanthoxalis trinidadensis (R. Knuth) Holub

Xanthoxalis wrightii (A. Gray) Abrams

Common Name: Yellow Sorrel

Oxalis corniculata
Flowering plant
Photograph by: Noblevmy
Creative Commons License
Oxalis corniculata Oxalis corniculata Oxalis corniculata Oxalis corniculata Oxalis corniculata

General Information

Yellow sorrel is a annual or short-lived perennial plant growing only 5 - 10cm tall but spreading at the roots to form a mat of growth 30cm or more wide.
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for food, medicine and various other commodities.

Known Hazards

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[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

The plant is widely naturalised around the world as a weed, its original habitat is obscure.

Habitat

Arable land and waste places, it is a common garden weed[
9
Title
Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Launert. E.
Publisher
Hamlyn
Year
1981
ISBN
0-600-37216-2
Description
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
,
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
] where it tends to become especially troublesome in pots of plants growing in greenhouses etc[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual/Perennial
Height0.05 m
PollinatorsInsects, Self
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


A very easily grown plant, succeeding in a sandy soil in a warm dry position[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. It prefers dry open habitats[
50
Title
Flora Europaea
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1964
ISBN
-
Description
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for Europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
].
Spreading rapidly by seed and underground bulbils, this species can quickly become a nuisance, it is a common weed of pot plants in nurseries[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant flowers and fruits all year round[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
]. Added to salads, cooked as a potherb with other milder flavoured greens or used to give a sour flavour to other foods[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The leaves are available all year round unless the winter is very cold, they have a pleasantly sour taste[
114
Title
The Plant Wealth of Iraq.
Publication
 
Author
Chakravarty. H. L.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
It is surprising how many of these plants can be grown in Britain. A very readable book on the useful plants of Iraq.
], but are very small and fiddly to harvest[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. 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[
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
]. The leaves contain between 7 - 12% oxalate[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
]. Use in moderation, see notes at top of sheet.

Flowers - raw. A nice acid flavour and a pleasant addition to the salad bowl[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

The whole plant is anthelmintic, antiphlogistic, astringent, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, lithontripic, stomachic and styptic[
147
Title
A Barefoot Doctors Manual.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Running Press; Philadelphica.
Year
1977
ISBN
0-914294-92-X
Description
A very readable herbal from China, combining some modern methods with traditional chinese methods.
,
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
,
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
,
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is used in the treatment of influenza, fever, urinary tract infections, enteritis, diarrhoea, traumatic injuries, sprains and poisonous snake bites[
147
Title
A Barefoot Doctors Manual.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Running Press; Philadelphica.
Year
1977
ISBN
0-914294-92-X
Description
A very readable herbal from China, combining some modern methods with traditional chinese methods.
]. The plant is a good source of vitamin C and is used as an antiscorbutic in the treatment of scurvy[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].
The juice of the plant, mixed with butter, is applied to muscular swellings, boils and pimples[
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
]. An infusion can be used as a wash to rid children of hookworms[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

The leaves are used as an antidote to poisoning by the seeds of Datura spp, arsenic and mercury[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].
The leaf juice is applied to insect bites, burns and skin eruptions[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
]. It has an antibacterial activity[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].

Other Uses

A slimy substance collects in the mouth when the leaves are chewed, this is used by magicians to protect the mouth when they eat glass[
114
Title
The Plant Wealth of Iraq.
Publication
 
Author
Chakravarty. H. L.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
It is surprising how many of these plants can be grown in Britain. A very readable book on the useful plants of Iraq.
].

Yellow, orange and red to brown dyes are obtained from the flowers[
168
Title
Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Grae. I.
Publisher
MacMillan Publishing Co. New York.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-02-544950-8
Description
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
].
The boiled whole plant yields a yellow dye[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as ripe. This plant does not need any encouragement.

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.