Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Violet Wood Sorrel
Oxalis violacea

Family: Oxalidaceae
Genus: Oxalis (oks-AL-iss) (Info)
Species: violacea (vy-oh-LAH-see-uh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
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)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

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


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

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:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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to view:

By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Oxalis violacea by Floridian

By Floridian
Thumbnail #2 of Oxalis violacea by Floridian

By dmj1218
Thumbnail #3 of Oxalis violacea by dmj1218

By mfpinlh
Thumbnail #4 of Oxalis violacea by mfpinlh

By mfpinlh
Thumbnail #5 of Oxalis violacea by mfpinlh

By creekwalker
Thumbnail #6 of Oxalis violacea by creekwalker

By creekwalker
Thumbnail #7 of Oxalis violacea by creekwalker

There are a total of 21 photos.
Click here to view them all!


6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sunkissed On Jul 21, 2014, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a common weed here in Central FL, but adds a nice beauty to my garden. It likes the shady with filtered sun areas and not invasive at all. Especially likes my flower pots and makes a nice filler around many plants. Flowers in early to mid Spring and then again in early summer through fall.

Positive RosinaBloom On Mar 27, 2013, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

According to Wikipedia all parts of the plant are edible, but should not be eaten in large quantities at one time.

Positive puregrace On Oct 22, 2011, puregrace from Round Rock, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

please add to dangers: contains calcium oxalate, a constituent of kidney stones, please eat oxalis in moderation....

Neutral 2gardenkate On Jul 26, 2010, 2gardenkate from Crofton, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I bought a few pots of Violet Wood Sorrel from Toadshade Wildflower Farm a few years ago. It is lovely but ephemeral. It does not like hot weather and goes dormant by the end of June here in the mid Atlantic region.

Although, Violet Wood Sorrel is native to a lot of the US (according to the USDA Plants Database) it is possible that the other comments refer to Broadleaf Wood Sorrel, Oxalis latifolia. Certainly the photos posted are of this species and not Oxalis violacea.

Positive garden_mom On Jul 8, 2007, garden_mom from Bigelow, AR wrote:

I got starts of this plant at an old homestead and planted it at the front of a shady border. It multiplied fairly rapidly but was not invasive. I love this one for its soft foliage, pretty flowers, and acceptance of poor soil in a shady location. My kids spent years harvesting tiny bouquets of flowers and it has always been their favorite. I've also grown it in full west exposure sun and it did fine, especially in the shade of taller perennials. It makes a pretty 'skirt' for leggy plants.

Positive dmj1218 On Dec 20, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This one just "popped up" in my yard next to some Ipheions. Luckily, I love Oxalis so I'm glad to have it. It's certainly not invasive as this is the first I've seen of it in 12 years here in my yard.

Neutral JodyC On Jan 17, 2005, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Primarily small long-tongued and short-tongued bees visit the flowers for nectar or pollen. This includes Little Carpenter bees, Nomadine Cuckoo bees, Mason bees, Andrenine bees, Green Metallic bees, and other Halictine bees. The bee Andrena violae is an oligolege of this plant and violets that bloom during the spring. Less commonly, the flowers may be visited by small butterflies or skippers. Syrphid flies also visit the flowers, but they feed on the pollen and are non-pollinating. The seeds are eaten to a limited extent by several upland gamebirds and songbirds, including the Bobwhite, Mourning Dove, Horned Lark, Field Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, and Slate-Colored Junco. The Cottontail Rabbit eats this plant occasionally, even though it is mildly toxic because of the presence of oxalic acid in the leaves.

In Illinois, this is the only Wood Sorrel with violet flowers that blooms in sunny areas. The flowers and leaves open up on sunny days, otherwise they fold up and "go to sleep." It is an attractive, but rather small plant. The leaves are supposed to be edible in small amounts.

Positive punaheledp On Jun 28, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Didn't know what this is. Grows wild throughout my yard. Thought it was a weed, but the flowers are pretty so i let it go where it wants most of the time. zone 11.


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

Bigelow, Arkansas
Houston, Arkansas
Seaside, California
Bartow, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Miami, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida (2 reports)
Kailua, Hawaii
Crofton, Maryland
Cole Camp, Missouri
Beatrice, Nebraska
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Charlotte, North Carolina
Rowland, North Carolina
Glouster, Ohio
Monroe, Ohio
Coos Bay, Oregon
Clarksville, Texas
Houston, Texas
Pipe Creek, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Great Cacapon, West Virginia

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