Oxalis acetosella

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOxalidaceaeOxalisOxalis acetosella


A perennial creeping herb of woodland, hedgerows, banks, and other moist, usually shaded, habitats; also in rough montane grassland, grikes in limestone pavement, Vaccinium communities, bryophyte-rich block screes, and rock ledges. It grows on both calcareous and non-calcareous soils, though only those which are moisture-retentive. It is one of the few species able to survive the deep shade of conifer plantations. 0-1160 m (Ben Lawers, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

Eurasian Boreo-temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 4

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 4

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.4

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1138

Height (cm): 10

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome shortly creeping

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2393

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 791

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 2

Atlas Change Index: -0.74

Weighted Changed Factor: -11

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (95b)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
Packham JR
1978.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 141. Oxalis acetosella L. Journal of Ecology. 66:669-693.
Young DP
1958.  Oxalis in the British Isles. Watsonia. 4:51-69.