Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: White Oxalis
Oxalis crassipes 'Alba'

Family: Oxalidaceae
Genus: Oxalis (oks-AL-iss) (Info)
Species: crassipes (KRASS-ih-peez) (Info)
Cultivar: Alba

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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6 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Jan 28, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This has been hardy for me in two gardens in Zone 6a.

A beautiful plant that produces plentiful good pink flowers in shade from early summer till frost! There are forms in a range of colors from white through pale pink to mid-pink. In the Southeastern US, this is a common pass-along plant, though the pink form is more commonly encountered.

This does not normally go summer dormant in New England. The attractive foliage resists light frosts and is only reluctantly deciduous here. In warmer climates, it is evergreen.

I have not found it to be either aggressive or miffy. I lost it one exceptionally cold winter when day temps didn't rise above the single digits (F) for over six weeks. Not hard to find by mail-order. HIGHLY recommended.

This plant forms a tidy round clump for me about 8" high and a foot wide. I have never seen it self-sow, and growth of the finger-like rhizome is slow. Identifying oxalis species can be a challenge, and some species can be nasty weeds, but not this one. I think it's unfortunate that some people condemn an entire genus because it includes a few weedy species.

This plant originally comes from Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. In US nurseries, it is most commonly listed as Oxalis crassipes. Technically, it seems that the currently accepted botanical name of the plant under consideration is Oxalis articulata ssp. rubra f. crassipes, although you will find this plant listed under a dozen or more different names. These might include Oxalis rubra 'Alba', Oxalis rubra 'White', Oxalis crassipes, Oxalis crassipes 'Alba', Oxalis articulata 'Alba', Oxalis articulata 'White' and many others.

Positive suguy On May 29, 2011, suguy from Simi Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have long enjoyed the Rosea form of this Oxalis.
This past Winter I got a pot of the white one, Alba, and am growing it on my patio.

So far it is a blooming machine.
It has been going non-stop for over three months with no signs of slowing down.
In fact it has outgrown two pots in that time.

This is NOT an invasive Oxalis -- but a well-behaved clumper in my experience.

I will be able to trade this one.

Positive Smokey_SC On Apr 16, 2009, Smokey_SC from Piedmont, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is a very pretty plant and easy to grow. It is not invasive here. Needs to be watered if you don't get much rain. I am going to move mine to part sun, part shade. My DS grows it in full shade. I think mine will do better in at least part shade even though it says it can take full sun.

Negative terracotta On Jul 11, 2005, terracotta from Santa Barbara County, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I am putting this negative here to serve as a warning for people who live in areas, like I do, where oxalis can become extremely aggressive.

Oxalis has multiple bulbils that are exceedingly difficult to get rid of, plus (from what I've been told), the plants seed if you let them go to flower. I have handpicked our garden beds for several years now to remove oxalis bulbils, and have even screened the soil with a fine sieve. But the plants just keep coming back. As I don't use chemicals, I end up spending most of my valuable gardening time weeding out these pernicious plants. Oxalis looks lovely in the woods or in a pot, but in my garden beds it's a royal nuisance, crowding out my other plants and spreading faster than a new virus.

Before planting this in your garden beds, I would strongly advise you to ask local gardeners or nursery personnel if this plant is an aggressive spreader in your area. If so, do yourself a favor and keep it in a pot.

Positive kateq On Mar 17, 2005, kateq from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

Every March I buy an oxalis plant in a 4" pot at the florist where they are selling them as Shamrock plants for St Patricks Day. I usually plant it late May in a bright but shady spot. I first pull out all but a few of the healthiest stems. It seems to love the fresh air and really flourishes. Never gets much more than 8" tall, stays in a clump, but rounds out to a foot or so. Is a pretty little leafy accent amongst the shorter bedding plants. I'm in zone 4, so unfortunately it doesn't survive the winter here. In warmer climate, I'd love a border of them.

Neutral Kelli On Oct 4, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

We had one of these that came with the house. It would die back in the summer and then reappear with the winter rain. We've had a couple dry winters in a row now and I don't know if the plant is still alive.

Positive sylvieann On Mar 26, 2004, sylvieann from Bogalusa, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love this plant but cannot find it anywhere! My ex-mother-in-law had it all over her yard in Franklinton, LA and said it grew like a weed. I have seen it also in Medford, OR where I once lived. I did order a variety from a seed catalog at one time, but it was not exactly like the one pictured. Didn't really care for it. If anyone knows where it can be purchased, I would really like to have it. P.S. Some consider it a weed. 3/25/04

Positive Bug_Girl On Apr 17, 2003, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:

This lovely and delicate plant, which I am growing, absolutely can not have any sun after 11am even in San Francisco. If it gets afternoon hot sun, the leaves begin to close, as the plant attempts to protect itself from the sun. Then it dies back to the ground, but can still come back to life if transplanted to a shady location. I have mine is a pot right now so I can move it around, althought I have a shady place near a west wall, where it won't get any afternoon sun. It does not like to be soggy wet and is prone to getting rust. Don't let the leaves sit wet. Move from an area in which sprinklers may hit it.


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

Muscadine, Alabama
Smiths, Alabama
Boulder Creek, California
San Francisco, California
Simi Valley, California
Hampton, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Barbourville, Kentucky
Bogalusa, Louisiana
Roslindale, Massachusetts
La Luz, New Mexico
Raleigh, North Carolina
Piedmont, South Carolina
Alice, Texas
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Kalama, Washington

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