Acetosella corniculata (L.) Kuntze
Oxalis albicans sericea DC.
Oxalis bradei R. Knuth
Oxalis chinensis Haw. ex G. Don
Oxalis grenadensis Urb.
Oxalis jamaicensis Macfad.
Oxalis langloisii (Small) Fedde
Oxalis lupulina Kunth
Oxalis meridensis Pittier
Oxalis norlindiana R. Knuth
Oxalis pilosa Nutt.
Oxalis pilosiuscula Kunth
Oxalis preissiana Steud.
Oxalis procumbens Steud. ex A. Rich.
Oxalis pubescens Stokes
Oxalis radicosa A. Rich.
Oxalis repens A. St.-Hil.
Oxalis repens Thunb.
Oxalis simulans Baker
Oxalis steudeliana Kunth
Oxalis taiwanensis (Masam.) Masam.
Oxalis thunbergiana Montr.
Oxalis trinidadensis R. Knuth
Oxalis tropaeoloides Schlachter ex Planch.
Oxalis tubistipula Steud. ex Phil.
Oxalis villosa M. Bieb.
Oxys corniculata (L.) Scop.
Oxys lutea Bubani
Oxys lutea Lam.
Oxys lutea Moench
Oxys stricta All.
Xanthoxalis albicans (Kunth) Small
Xanthoxalis corniculata (L.) Small
Xanthoxalis langloisii Small
Xanthoxalis repens (Thunb.) Moldenke
Xanthoxalis trinidadensis (R. Knuth) Holub
Xanthoxalis wrightii (A. Gray) Abrams
Common Name: Yellow Sorrel
Oxalis corniculata is a annual or short-lived perennial plant growing only 5 - 10cm tall but spreading at the roots to form a mat of growth 30cm or more wide.
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for food, medicine and various other commodities.
Oxalis corniculata has many weedy characteristics, being readily self-pollinated, producing copious seeds in a short time, and being capable of growing rapidly in open places. It is considered a cosmopolitan weed of tropical and temperature zones and it probably occurs in most countries in the world, although it may not yet have been reported from all. It occurs in gardens, lawns, arable land and pastures, and as a weed of glasshouses and plant nurseries[
The leaves contain oxalic acid, which gives them their sharp flavour. Perfectly all right in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since oxalic acid can bind up the body's supply of calcium leading to nutritional deficiency. The quantity of oxalic acid will be reduced if the leaves are cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[
The plant is widely naturalised around the world as a weed, its original habitat is obscure.
Arable land and waste places, it is a common garden weed[
] where it tends to become especially troublesome in pots of plants growing in greenhouses etc[
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A very easily grown plant, succeeding in a sandy soil in a warm dry position[
]. It prefers dry open habitats[
The plant flowers and fruits all year round[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Added to salads, cooked as a potherb with other milder flavoured greens or used to give a sour flavour to other foods[
]. The leaves are available all year round unless the winter is very cold, they have a pleasantly sour taste[
], but are very small and fiddly to harvest[
]. The leaves contain about 86% water, 2.3% protein, 0.8% fat, 8.2% carbohydrate, 150mg calcium, 78mg phosphorus, 8mg iron, 0.6mg niacin, 78mg vitamin C, 6050µg beta carotene[
]. The leaves contain between 7 - 12% oxalate[
]. Use in moderation, see notes at top of sheet,
Flowers - raw. A nice acid flavour and a pleasant addition to the salad bowl[
The whole plant is anthelmintic, antiphlogistic, astringent, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, lithontripic, stomachic and styptic[
]. It is used in the treatment of influenza, fever, urinary tract infections, enteritis, diarrhoea, traumatic injuries, sprains and poisonous snake bites[
]. The plant is a good source of vitamin C and is used as an antiscorbutic in the treatment of scurvy[
The juice of the plant, mixed with butter, is applied to muscular swellings, boils and pimples[
]. An infusion can be used as a wash to rid children of hookworms[
The leaves are used as an antidote to poisoning by the seeds of Datura spp, arsenic and mercury[
The leaf juice is applied to insect bites, burns and skin eruptions[
]. It has an antibacterial activity[
A slimy substance collects in the mouth when the leaves are chewed, this is used by magicians to protect the mouth when they eat glass[
Yellow, orange and red to brown dyes are obtained from the flowers[
The boiled whole plant yields a yellow dye[
Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame. This plant does not need any encouragement.