Oxalis articulata subsp. rubra

Common Name: sorrel 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Oxalidaceae
Native Range: Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Mauve pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Herb, Naturalize
Flower: Showy


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-10 where these plants are easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants will spread by rhizomes to form colonies in optimum growing conditions. However, they are less aggressive spreaders than some other species in this genus. Plants are best sited in locations that provide some afternoon protection from the hot sun. They will not grow in shade. Keep soils uniformly moist during the growing season. Begin to taper off watering in late summer as the foliage begins to decline. Tolerates poor soils. Plants are not winter hardy to the St. Louis area where they could be grown in pots or containers that can be overwintered indoors in a cool dry location.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Oxalis articulata, known by a variety of common names including pink sorrel, pink wood sorrel or windowbox wood sorrel, is an herbaceous perennial that typically grows to 8” tall. It is native to South America (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay), but has been introduced with subsequent naturalization occurring in many other parts of the world including Australia, Europe and North America (southeastern U.S. and California). It is noted for producing a showy bloom of 5-petaled bright mauve pink flowers (to 3/ 4” across) with darker pink throats somewhat continuously throughout the year in warm winter climates but from June to September in cool weather climates near the northern edge of its growing range. Flowers bloom in 5-10 flowered umbellate cymes above trifoliate leaves each of which has three rounded clover-like gray-green leaflets. Leaves contain oxalic acid.

Subsp. rubra has red to pink flowers in 6-12 flowered umbellate cymes. Synonymous with Oxalis rubra

The genus name Oxalis comes from the Greek word oxys meaning "acid", "sour" or "sharp", in reference to the taste of the leaves.

Specific epithet means jointed in reference to the rhizomes.


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to rust.


Showy, long-blooming flower. Borders, window boxes, containers. Leaves and flowers are an interesting addition to salads.