Oxalis articullata subsp. rubra-Pink Wood Sorrel, Windowbox Wood Sorrel

Oxalis articulata subsp. rubra (Pink Wood Sorrel) or Oxalis violacea (Violet Wood Sorrel) flowers on 3-22-09, #8-16.

Pink Wood Sorrel, Windowbox Wood Sorrel

Oxalis articulata subsp. rubra

oks-AL-iss ar-tik-yoo-LAH-tuh ROO-bruh

Oxalis articulata subsp. rubra (A.St.-Hil.) Lourteig is the correct and accepted infraspecific name for this species of Oxalis. It was named and described by Alicia Lourteig in Phytologia in 1982. It was first named and described as a separate species, Oxalis rubra A.St.-Hil., by Auguste François César Prouvençal de Saint-Hilaire in Flora Brasiliae Meridionalis in 1825. Plants of the World Online by Kew currently list this subspecies as a synonym of Oxalis articulata but I am still listing it as accepted.

Oxalis articulata Savigny is the correct and accepted scientific name for the species. It was named and described by Marie Jules César Lélorgne de Savigny and “in author” Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monnet de Lamarck in Encyclopédie Méthodique, Botanique in 1798.

The genus, Oxalis L., was described by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. Plants of the World Online list 547 accepted species of Oxalis (as of when I updated this page on 3-2-19).

This Oxalis species was growing in the side yard of the mansion in Mississippi next to the east sunroom. I knew right off it was unmistakably an Oxalis species, but which one? Plants of the World Online currently lists 655 accepted species of Oxalis. Fortunately, we don’t have to check every species because, as with every genus, only certain species grow in certain locations.

My original image search for this species left me somewhat frustrated because most of the flowers looked nothing like mine. Most photos of Oxalis were solid shades of pink or pink with white throats and only a few with darker throats. Most all of them said they were from Oxalis violacea. Information also suggests this species, as well as many others, are variable and come in various shades of pink and sometimes even white. Even so, the choices were limited.

Finally, today as I am writing this page on 1-27-18, I stumbled upon the subspecies Oxalis articulata subspecies rubra. I don’t remember where I first saw it, but it was a miracle. It is weird how you can search for something and not find it and it just pops up when you aren’t expecting it. The Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder lists this plant but without a photo. I was only looking for photos…

While the species Oxalis articulata have similar flowers to Oxalis violacea, the subspecies have dark throats.


Oxalis articulata subsp. rubra (Pink Wood Sorrel) or Oxalis violacea (Violet Wood Sorrel) on 5-10-10, #55-40.

Family: Oxalidaceae
Origin: Mo. Bot. Garden says Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina
Zones: USDA Zones 7-10,
Dave’s Garden says 6a-9b (-10 to 25° F)
Size: 8” up to 12” maybe
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Well-drained, slightly moist.
Water: Average water needs during the growing period.

This plant came up in several spots next to the east sunroom in part shade from 2009 through 2012. I moved from the mansion in February 2013 and the new owners renovated the mansion and opened a new bed and breakfast (The Thompson House Bed and Breakfast). They added a patio where these plants were growing…

I had a very long write up at first but I decided it needed to be shortened. I first included information about both the Oxalis articulata subsp. rubra and Oxalis violacea but that was a bit much. There isn’t a whole lot online about this subspecies, or even the species, for the gardener. Personally, I think it is a well worthwhile plant to grow, as well as hard to find. Maybe someday I will figure out how to grow non-native Oxalis species that aren’t hardy here. And, maybe someday, I will be able to try this plant again even though it is pink…

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


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