Oxalis Species, Cubio, New Zealand Yam, Oca, Wood Sorrel

Oxalis tuberosa

Family: Oxalidaceae
Genus: Oxalis (oks-AL-iss) (Info)
Species: tuberosa (too-ber-OH-suh) (Info)
Synonym:Acetosella tuberosa
Synonym:Oxalis aracatcha
Synonym:Oxalis arracacha



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

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)

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Emeryville, California

Richmond, California

Prospect, Kentucky

Sweet Home, Oregon

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Morristown, Tennessee

Grand Mound, Washington

Moclips, Washington

Rochester, Washington

Seattle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 15, 2016, malsprower from Daytona, FL wrote:

A failed project in Daytona FL

I have tried growing these plants outside since march and they grew real lanky and just died off no matter what. Some of them I watered every other day and others I watered once a week, when they need water. Some I did not water at all and the rain kept them alive for the short amount of time that they were. Rot killed them all here in FL. Probably a naturally occurring bacteria or fungus around here. I spent $10 on six oca roots and found it impossible to keep them alive. I don't think I will ever try growing these things ever again because they are so susceptible to rot. The stem of the plant would just shrink and the root would just die off. The plants would just fall on the ground and wither away. I would need a different climate to grow th... read more


On Jan 19, 2016, janelp_lee from Toronto, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

Well, it is certainly easy to grow! Purchased tiny bulbs in spring and got eaten some right next day I have planted by rodents...

Plants fairly low maintenance. Full sun in good humidity will grow the best. Plants grow tiny bulbs when weather is starting from cool to cold. Mine did not flower. In rich soil will grow larger bulbs for food. I have lots of tiny bulbs for plant trade if you are looking for something different to grow. Very easy to propagate from stem cuttings as well.


On Feb 8, 2010, Ian_Pearson from London,
United Kingdom wrote:

Fairly productive tuber-forming food crop (typically c. 1 kg per plant if well grown). Day-length sensitive, so unproductive in areas with early frost in Autumn. Several varieties available. Very attractive foliage, suitable as ground cover. Attractive waxy tubers harvested after the plant has been killed by frost. May be grown like potatoes (earthed up) or alternatively its habit suits bi-cropping with any tall crop such as tomatoes or corn. Some sources are beginning to report mild allelopathic effect on following crops. Delicious roasted!


On Mar 8, 2002, Murple wrote:

I was first made aware of this plant on a trip to Bolivia. The roots there are a fairly common vegetable, especially with the indigenous Aymara and Quechua people. The roots are look like short, rounded, yellow carrots, and are cooked by boiling. The taste is similar to sweet potato, but the texture is firmer, more like a carrot. A very tasty tuber worth growing and eating, and a nice looking foliage plant to boot.


On Sep 20, 2001, Baa wrote:

A tuberous crop similar to the potato and having a slightly nutty new potato taste. May also be used in place of wheat as a flour.

Typical trifoliate leaves with silvery soft hairs and bright yellow oxalis flowers. Produces numerous, buff, pink, red or brown tubers, much smaller than a potato and yields about 8lbs of tubers per plant on moderate soil.

This plant is by no means frost hardy, tubers can be lifted and replanted the following year or as I do, left in a large container under glass over the winter and repotted the following year. They do have pests, cheifly in the form of the Oca Weevil, or in my case pet ducks who love the foliage.