Oxalis Violacea Violet Wood Sorrel: A Guide to Identification

Oxalis violacea, commonly known as Violet Wood Sorrel, is a bulbous perennial native to North America. This herbaceous plant belongs to the family Oxalidaceae and is known for its lavender to pinkish-purple flowers that bloom from mid-spring to early summer. The charming blossoms are borne in clusters of 4-19 flowers at the end of slender stems. So what is all the hype about Oxalis Violacea Violet Wood Sorrel? Well, let’s dive in!

The Violet Wood Sorrel is a stemless perennial that typically grows 4-8 inches tall. The long-stemmed leaves and longer, leafless flower stalks rise directly from the bulb. It is a common Missouri native wildflower which occurs state-wide in dryish, acidic soils on glades, rocky open woods, fields and prairies. Oxalis violacea is a low-maintenance plant that can add beauty to any garden.

If you are looking for a unique and stunning plant to add to your garden, Violet Wood Sorrel is worth considering. With its charming flowers and low-maintenance nature, it can be a great addition to any garden.

Description of Oxalis Violacea Violet Wood Sorrel

Oxalis Violacea, commonly known as Violet Wood Sorrel, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the family Oxalidaceae. It is a bulbous plant that typically grows 4-8 inches tall. The plant has long-stemmed leaves and longer, leafless flower stalks that rise directly from the bulb.

The leaves of Oxalis Violacea are three-part and have heart-shaped leaflets. The foliage is green and can form large colonies. The flowers are bell-shaped and have greenish throats. Flowers come in shades of violet, which gives the plant its name. The flowers are showy and can bloom in large clusters.

Oxalis Violacea is similar in appearance to small clovers such as the shamrock. The plant is native to North America and is commonly found in dryish, acidic soils on glades, rocky open woods, fields, and prairies.

The plant is propagated by division of plants right as their leaves are going dormant or by seed. This plant is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses, so it is important to keep pets away from the plant.

Distribution & Habitat

Native to North America

Oxalis Violacea, commonly known as Violet Wood Sorrel, is a native plant to North America. It is widely distributed across the continent, from the Rocky Mountains east to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico coasts, and through Eastern Canada. It is a common member of some prairie communities and has a tendency to cluster in open places in damp woods and on stream banks, and in moist prairies.

Found in Eastern and Central United States

Violet Wood Sorrel is found in many states across the Eastern and Central United States. It is very rare in New England, with only a handful of populations found in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont. However, it is more common in other states such as Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.

The plant grows on ridges and rocky slopes under a partially open forest canopy. It is also found on banks, rocky ground, and prairies. It is a low-growing plant that lacks upright stems, and grows from a scaly coated bulb.

Violet Wood Sorrel is a native plant to North America, widely distributed across the continent. It is found in many states across the Eastern and Central United States, and is very rare in New England. It grows in open places in damp woods and on stream banks, and in moist prairies.

Uses of Oxalis Violacea

As a bulbous perennial plant, Oxalis Violacea (Violet Wood Sorrel) has been used for various purposes, including medicinal, culinary, and ornamental uses. In this section, I will discuss the different uses of Oxalis Violacea.

Medicinal Purposes

Oxalis Violacea has been used for medicinal purposes by Native Americans, including the Cherokee and Pawnee peoples. According to Wikipedia, the plant was used to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, diarrhea, and sore throat. It was also used as a poultice for skin irritations and as a wash for eye infections.

Culinary Uses

All parts of the Oxalis Violacea plant are edible, including the flowers, leaves, stems, and bulb. The plant has a sour taste, which is why it is also known as sourgrass. The sour taste is due to the presence of oxalic acid, which is also found in other plants like spinach and rhubarb.

Oxalis Violacea can be used in salads, soups, and stews, and the leaves and bulbs were widely used by Native Americans for food. According to Go Botany, the plant can also be used to make a refreshing drink by steeping the leaves in water.

Cultivation

Oxalis Violacea is relatively easy to cultivate and can be grown in a variety of soil types, including dry, acidic soils. The plant prefers well-draining soil and partial shade. It can be propagated by dividing the bulbs or by planting the seeds in the fall.

Conservation Efforts

Oxalis Violacea is not currently listed as an endangered or threatened species. However, it is important to protect the plant and its habitat from destruction. As a native plant, it plays an important role in the ecosystem and provides food and habitat for wildlife.

Oxalis Violacea is a versatile plant with many uses, including medicinal and culinary purposes. It is relatively easy to cultivate and can be grown in a variety of soil types. While it is not currently endangered, it is important to protect the plant and its habitat from destruction.

How to Grow and Care for Oxalis Violacea

As an experienced gardener, I have found that growing Oxalis Violacea is relatively easy, making it a great choice for gardeners of all levels. Here are some tips for planting and caring for Oxalis Violacea:

Planting and Care Tips

Oxalis Violacea is a low-growing perennial plant that typically grows to be around 10 inches tall and 12 inches wide. It is a member of the Oxalidaceae family and is native to prairies and woods in the central and eastern United States. It is a rare plant that is prized for its purplish-pink flowers, which bloom in late spring and early summer.

When planting Oxalis Violacea, it is important to choose a location that receives full sun or partial shade. The plant prefers well-drained soil that is slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Loam or sandy soil is ideal, but the plant can also grow in clay soil as long as it is well-drained.

The bulbs should be planted in the fall, about 2 inches deep and spaced about 10 inches apart. Water the bulbs thoroughly after planting, and then water them sparingly throughout the winter. In the spring, the plant will begin to grow, and you can begin watering it more regularly. Oxalis Violacea does not require a lot of water, so be careful not to overwater it.

Alternative Plants to Consider

If you are looking for alternative plants to consider, there are several native plants that would complement Oxalis Violacea nicely. Some options include:

  • Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
  • Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
  • Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor)
  • Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis)
  • Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Gardening Ideas

Oxalis Violacea is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of garden settings. It is an excellent choice for rock gardens, border fronts, or naturalized plantings. The plant looks especially attractive when planted in clusters, and it can also be used as a groundcover.

Native Plant Nurseries and Restoration Services

If you are interested in planting native plants in your garden, there are many nurseries and restoration services that specialize in native plants. Some options include:

  • Prairie Nursery
  • American Meadows
  • Midwest Groundcovers
  • Prairie Moon Nursery

By following these tips and incorporating Oxalis Violacea into your garden, you can enjoy the beauty of this rare plant for years to come.

Before You Go – Oxalis Violacea Violet Wood Sorrel

Oxalis Violacea Violet Wood Sorrel is a fascinating plant that boasts beautiful lavender to pinkish-purple flowers with greenish throats. This bulbous perennial is native to North America and can be found in dryish, acidic soils on glades, rocky open woods, fields, and prairies.

While all parts of the plant are edible, it should not be eaten in large quantities due to a high concentration of oxalic acid, which can be poisonous. The plant has a sour juice, which is why it is also known as “sourgrass.” It is used in salads and other culinary dishes.

Violet Wood Sorrel grows on ridges and rocky slopes under a partially open forest canopy, and is very rare in New England. A handful of populations may be found in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont, but most of the occurrences are historic.

Overall, Oxalis Violacea Violet Wood Sorrel is a unique and interesting plant that adds beauty and diversity to the natural landscape. Its sour taste and edible properties make it a valuable addition to the culinary world, while its rarity and beauty make it a sought-after addition to any garden or natural area.

References – Oxalis Violacea Violet Wood Sorrel

Little Herb Encyclopedia, by Jack Ritchason; N.D., Woodland Publishing Incorporated, 1995
The Ultimate Healing System, Course Manual, Copyright 1985, Don Lepore
Planetary Herbology, Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., Lotus Press, 1988
Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, by James A. Duke, Pub. CRP Second Edition 2007
The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Published by Dorling Kindersley

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Frequently Asked Questions – Oxalis Violacea Violet Wood Sorrel

What are some Oxalis species that are similar to Violet Wood Sorrel?

There are many species of Oxalis that are similar to Violet Wood Sorrel, including Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta), Redwood Sorrel (Oxalis oregana), and Pink Wood Sorrel (Oxalis debilis). These species all have similar leaves and flowers, but differ in color and size.

Where can I find Oxalis violacea for sale?

Oxalis violacea can be found for sale at many nurseries and garden centers, as well as online through various plant retailers. It is important to ensure that the plant is being sourced from a reputable seller and that it is legal to purchase in your area.

Is Violet Wood Sorrel edible?

Yes, Violet Wood Sorrel is edible and has a tangy, citrus-like flavor. It can be used in salads, soups, and sauces, or eaten raw as a snack. However, it is important to note that some people may have a sensitivity to the oxalic acid found in the plant, which can cause digestive issues.

Where can I find Violet Wood Sorrel seeds?

Violet Wood Sorrel seeds can be found for sale at many online seed retailers, as well as through specialty plant nurseries. It is important to ensure that the seeds are being sourced from a reputable seller and that they are legal to purchase in your area.

What is the native range of Yellow Wood Sorrel?

Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta) is native to North America and can be found throughout the United States and Canada. It is commonly found in fields, lawns, and other open areas.

How do I care for Violet Wood Sorrel?

Violet Wood Sorrel is a low-maintenance plant that prefers well-draining soil and partial shade. It can be propagated through division or from seed, and should be watered regularly but not over-watered. It is important to keep an eye out for pests and diseases, as well as to prune back any dead or damaged foliage.

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