Oxalis corniculata

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaOxalidaceaeOxalisOxalis corniculata


A scrambling annual or short-lived perennial herb which is often a pernicious weed of cultivated land, disturbed areas and paths. It is self-compatible and the seeds are explosively ejected up to two metres from the capsules. Its brittle stems readily root at the nodes. Lowland.



World Distribution

Native range unknown; now found in warm temperate and tropical regions throughout the world.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.9

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.8

Annual Precipitation (mm): 843

Height (cm): 15

Perennation - primary


Perennation - secondary


Life Form - primary


Life Form - secondary

Therophyte (annual land plant)

Comment on Life Form

Not clear from books whether mainly annual or perennial



Clonality - primary

Extensively creeping and rooting at nodes

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 998

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 32

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 11

Atlas Change Index: 1.62

Weighted Changed Factor: 71

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (95c)
Lovett-Doust L, Mackinnon A, Lovett-Doust J
1985.  Biology of Canadian weeds. 71. Oxalis stricta L., O. corniculata L., O. dillenii Jacq. ssp. dillenii and O. dillenii Jacq. ssp. filipes (Small) Eiten. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 65:691-709.
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.
Rich TCG, Jermy AC
1998.  Plant crib 1998.
Watson (1997)
Young DP
1958.  Oxalis in the British Isles. Watsonia. 4:51-69.