Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Oxalis latifolia
Kunth, Oxalidaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Ionoxalis vallicola Rose; Oxalis vallicola (Rose) R. Knuth

Common name(s): [more details]

English: broadleaf woodsorrel, fishtail oxalis, pink shamrock, purple-flowered oxalis, shamrock

French: oseille, trèfle

Spanish: acedera, acederilla, trebol, trebol de huerta, trebol de jardin, trebol falso

Habit:  herb

Description:  "A stemless perennial herb; taproot up to 6 cm long, carrot-like, waxy-white; bulbs found on top of taproot, 1 to 2 cm in diameter, composed of lanceolate scales, outer ones brown and papery, inner ones white, fleshy; bulbs form rhizomes up to 10 cm long with terminal bulbils 5 to 6 mm in diameter; petioles arise from bulb, erect, slender, glabrous, 10 to 25 cm long, bearing 3 smooth, distinctly triangular leaflets, 2 to 5 cm wide; leaflets about twice as wide as long, with smooth edges, rounded corners; apex notched up to one-third the length of leaflet; peduncle arises from leaf axil of bulb, 15 to 20 cm tall, usually exceeding petiole length; inflorescence 5 to 12 flowers borne in slender, drooping umbels, bluish-purple, pinkish-purple or purple-violet; flowers perfect; calyx of 5 oblong- lanceolate sepals 4 to 5 mm wide, each with two small orange glands at apex; corolla of 5 overlapping petals, twisted in bud, free, green below, purpled above, 12 to 15 mm long; stamens 10 in two series of 5 each in lower, middle or upper positions relative to stigma; ovary 5-locular with 5 styles; fruit rare, if present a longitudinal capsule, green until maturity, with small, oval, orange to dark yellow seeds 0.7 by 1 mm, with 2 longitudinal and several transverse ribs giving seed coat a wavy appearance.  This weed is recognized by the taproot below the scaly bulb, numerous bulbils formed on rhizomes, the notched, triangular leaflets and the purplish flowers with orange glands at the calyx apex"  (Holm et al., 1997; p. 550).

Description from Flora of Pakistan

Habitat/ecology:  Common in gardens, orchards, plantation crops, nurseries, and any intensely cultivated area.  Plants are shade tolerant. The weed grows in medium and heavy textured soils in Bolivia but is common in the light-textured, low organic matter soils of Mauritius (Holm et al., 1997; p. 550).  "Forests and forest edges, arable fields, waste places.  A variable species with regard to leaf shape.  Although mainly a weed of agroecosystems, it invasdes natural plant communities and crowds out native plants due to the dense stands"  (Weber, 2003; p. 293).

Propagation:  Most reproduction is vegetatively, through bulbs and bulbils.  When seeds are produced, they are "shot" 20 to 40 cm from the capsule when the valves split open  (Holm et al., 1997; pp. 551-552).

Native range:  United States (New Mexico) through Mexico and Central America to northern South America (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 109)
Voucher cited: MacKee 45742
Spontané
New Zealand (offshore islands)
Kermadec Islands
Raoul Island introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 920)
"A very bad weed of cultivated and waste ground, particularly in open places with loose soil but sometimes amongst taller vegetation".
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 548)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 548)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 548)
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 548)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 920)
"A very bad weed of cultivated and waste ground, particularly in open places with loose soil but sometimes amongst taller vegetation".
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 548)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (pp. 548, 550, 554)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Seychelles Islands introduced
Weber, Ewald (2003) (p. 293)

Control: 

Physical:  "Repeated clipping reduces the vigor of this plant.  Covering plants with plastic or straw mulch can kill the plants, as does flooding".

Chemical:  "Effective herbicides are 2,4-D, diuron, or dalapon.  Trifluralin is active against bulbs"  (Weber, 2003; p. 293).


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This page was created on 25 JAN 2007 and was last updated on 19 JAN 2011.