Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Creeping Wood Sorrel
Oxalis corniculata

Family: Oxalidaceae
Genus: Oxalis (oks-AL-iss) (Info)
Species: corniculata (korn-ee-ku-LAY-tuh) (Info)

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Click thumbnail
to view:

By janedoe
Thumbnail #1 of Oxalis corniculata by janedoe

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #2 of Oxalis corniculata by kennedyh

By Floridian
Thumbnail #3 of Oxalis corniculata by Floridian

By grovespirit
Thumbnail #4 of Oxalis corniculata by grovespirit

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #5 of Oxalis corniculata by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #6 of Oxalis corniculata by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #7 of Oxalis corniculata by kennedyh

There are a total of 12 photos.
Click here to view them all!


2 positives
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Jan 4, 2013, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

According to the USF Atlas of Florida Vascular plants, Oxalis corniculata is also native to Florida. I see it in my garden less often than the more invasive, non-native Oxalis violacea.

Negative Malus2006 On Jul 29, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I agree - I just found out it was different from O. stricta - actually have some purple foliage while O. stricta tend to be strongly green (except in the cultivar which escape from pots with regularity) without any hint of purple in it. It's on my list of impossible to get rid of weeds, it break easily near the soil surface when pulled on so you have to dig deep to get their taproots. Not easy when you consider plants nearby, especially thorny bushes.

Negative Agaveguy On May 20, 2009, Agaveguy from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

A pernicious,noxious weed.

Neutral htop On May 14, 2007, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Creeping Wood Sorrel (Oxalis corniculata) is referenced as growing natively in 2 counties of Texas.

Neutral raisedbedbob On Feb 17, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

The chewed leaves were once used to treat sore throat, nausea and mouth sores. Fresh leaves were poulticed on cancers, old sores and ulcers. Leaf tea was used to treat fevers, urinary infections and scurvey. CAUTION: Large doses may cause oxalate poisoning.

Positive grovespirit On Jan 30, 2005, grovespirit from Sunset Valley, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Here in Monterey CA we have a native variety of this plant which has large (1" diameter) yellow flowers in clusters of 3 or 4 blooms. In Zone 11 it blooms in late January with other Spring bulbs such as Irises. In more normal zones (4-8) it would probably be an early Spring bloomer. The effect is quite pretty. It does spread easily, but is also fairly easily controlled by uprooting unwanted plants. It makes a great container or window box plant and is also nice for naturalizing in lawns and meadows. Prefers sandy soil. Needs little water and can be used for xeriscaping. I have found a rare sport of this plant which has double blooms, and would love to share some with other gardeners.

Neutral Weezingreens On Dec 4, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Creeping Woodsorrel is often mistaken for Yellow Woodsorrel (O. stricta). While creeping woodsorrel has a prostrate habit, O. stricta is erect. Though both can have a reddish purple tinge to the leaves, it occurs more often with Creeping Woodsorrel. The most definitive difference is that Creeping Woodsorrel has a slender taproot & spreads by aboveground stolons, while Yellow woodsorrel has underground rhisomes.

O. corniculata spreads by rooting at nods along the prostrate, hairy stems. The foliage is palmate, formed by three inverted, heart-shaped leaflets. The leaflets are creased and fold upward at night or during times of stress. The stems are branched at the base.

Small yellow flowers bloom singly or in clusters from long stems at the leaf axils. Blooms occur from spring to fall. The seed capsule is cylindrical with flat sides and somewhat hairy. When ripe, the seeds are ejected over 10 feet from the plant.

Creeping Woodsorrel is native to Mexico, SW New Mexico, Southern Arizona and Central California. It prefers dry, sandy soil in cleared areas. In cultivated areas it is considered a "weed".


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Seaside, California
Jacksonville, Florida
Miami, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Valley Lee, Maryland
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Plainfield, New Jersey
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Desoto, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America