Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Oxalis stricta, Common Yellow Oxalis

Oxalis stricta, Common Yellow OxalisOxalis stricta, Common Yellow OxalisOxalis stricta, Common Yellow OxalisOxalis stricta, Common Yellow OxalisOxalis stricta, Common Yellow Oxalis

Scientific Name: Oxalis stricta
Common Name: Common Yellow Oxalis
Also Called: Dillen's Oxalis, Erect Woodsorrel, Sheep Sorrel, Sourgrass, Toad Sorrel, Upright Yellow Woodsorrel, Upright Yellow Wood-sorrel, Yellow Woodsorrel
Family: Oxalidaceae, Wood-Sorrel Family
Synonyms: (Ceratoxalis coloradensis, C. cymosa, Oxalis brittoniae, O. bushii, O. coloradensis, O. corniculata var. dillenii, O. cymosa, O. dillenii, O. dillenii subsp. dillenii, O. dillenii subsp. filipes, O. dillenii var. radicans, O. europaea, O. europaea var. bushii, O. europaea var. rufa, O. filipes, O. florida, O. florida subsp. prostrata, O. florida var. filipes, O. fontana, O. fontana var. bushii, O. interior, O. prostrata, O. rufa, O. rupestris, O. stricta var. decumbens, O. s. var. piletocarpa, O. s. var. rufa., O. s. var. villicaulis, Xanthoxalis brittoniae, X. bushii, X. coloradensis, X. cymosa, X. dillenii, X. dillenii var. piletocarpa, X. filipes, X. florida, X. interior, X. rufa, X. stricta, X. s. var. piletocarpa)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 1 foot more or less but mostly low-growing herbaceous herb.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; low spreading, crawling plant.
Leaves: Green; clover-like,
Flower Color: Yellow; 1 or more flowers.
Flowering Season: April to September.
Elevation: 2,500 to 6,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Often along riparian areas, streams; especially common as a garden weed.

Recorded Range: Common Yellow Oxalis is found throughout the United States with few or no specimens found in CA, NV, OR and UT. It is considered a weed in Canada where it occurs throughout the lower provinces with few or no specimens in Alberta.

In Arizona it is found in the central north in Coconino county; in the central part of the state in Maricopa county and in the southern parts of the state in Graham, Cochise, Pinal and Santa Cruz counties.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Oxalis stricta.

U.S. Weed Information: Oxalis stricta is listed as a Noxious Weed in Weeds of Kentucky and adjacent states: a field guide, Weeds of the Northeast, Weeds of Nebraska and the Great Plains and in Weeds of the United States and Canada. Plants included here may become weedy or invasive.

Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: Oxalis stricta has the following wetland designations; Arid West, FACU; Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, UPL; Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, FACU; Great Plains, FACU Midwest, FACU; and Northcentral & Northeast, FACU Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, FACU.
FACU = Facultative Upland, usually occur in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands
UPL = Obligate Upland, almost never occur in wetlands.

Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: The Plant List includes 1,761 scientific plant names of species rank for the genus Oxalis. Of these 504 are accepted species names.

37 species in Oxalis in North America; 11 species in Arizona and New Mexico, 13 species in California and 12 species in Texas.

Comments: Common Yellow Oxalis is similar in appearance to Creeping Woodsorrel, Oxalis corniculata. However, the stems on Common Yellow Oxalis are mostly decumbent.

In Southwestern Desert Flora also see Alpine Woodsorrel, Oxalis alpina.

Date Profile Completed: 03/30/2016, updated format 09/29/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 03/29/2016).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 03/29/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information