Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Oxalis pes-caprae
L., Oxalidaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Oxalis cernua Thunb.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: huang hua cu jiang cao

English: African woodsorrel, Bermuda buttercup

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Perennials, 5-15 (-40) cm tall, acaulescent, sparsely pubescent; bulb with white fleshy contractile root and a slender vertical stem rising to soil surface; underground stem and soil surface crown bearing numerous small bulbils and scales. Petiole 3-10 cm, erect to spreading; leaflet blades obcordate, 0.8-2 x 1.2-3.2 cm, slightly succulent, bright green often with dark purple spots, glabrous, apex deeply emarginate. Umbellate cymes with 3-20 flowers; peduncle 2 x as long as petioles. Flowers 2-3 cm across, nodding. Sepals lanceolate, 2.5-4 x ca. 1 mm, apex with a pair of orange calli. Petals deep golden yellow, obovate. Capsule long terete, pubescent, very rarely formed"  (Flora of China online).

Habitat/ecology:  "Forests, grasssland, riparian habitats, coastal beaches, disturbed sites.  A highly variable species with more than 30 naturalized variants found in Australia, differing mainly in their leaflet markings.  The plant forms extensive, almost pure stands and spreads rapidly.  Although an important agricultural weed, it invades natural plant communities and displaces native plants by the dense stands"  (Weber, 2003; p. 294). 

In New Zealand, "waste places in and around settlements, disturbed soil on roadsides, cultivated soil, often forming dense stands and a serious garden weed, occasionally in open pockets in scrub on cliffs and banks"  (Webb et al., 1988; p. 921).  In Australia, "widespread, in gardens and orchards, along roadsides and arable land"  (NSW PlantNET).  "In Chile this species grows in the following environmental conditions:  Low altitude, interior valleys; coastal mountains, 500-2000 m; coastal areas, 0-500 m. Somewhat dry areas where the drought may last 3-5 months, precipitations of 400-800 mm. are concentrated in winter; humid areas, with almost constant rainfall, short dry periods are possible (generally not longer than 1 month). Fully exposed to the sun, level areas or slopes facing north"  (Chileflora).

Propagation:  "The plant produces bulblets abundantly which easily break off and are the main propagule for spread"  (Weber, 2003; p. 294).

Native range:  Namibia and South Africa (Cape Province)  (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 556)
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
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Cultivated grounds, open habitats; low elevations. Naturalized at least in Fujian but cultivated elsewhere in S. China and very likely to escape and spread vegetatively.  This species is cultivated as an ornamental in at least Hubei, Shaanxi, and Xinjiang".
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 185)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 921)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Chile (Republic of) introduced
Belov, Michail (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Arizona
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments: 

Physical:  "Individual scattered plants can be dug out, all bulbs and bulblets need to be removed to prevent recolonization.  Constant weeding before bulblet formation may weaken the plant".

Chemical:  "Chemical control includes spraying 2,4-D, glyphosate, fenoprop, or chlorsulfuron"  (Weber, 2003; p. 294).


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This page was created on 23 JAN 2011 and was last updated on 4 APR 2011.