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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 434. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/1/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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5. Oxalis violacea L. (violet wood sorrel, purple wood sorrel)

Pl. 474 c, d; Map 2170

Plants perennial, with scaly, ovoid, brown or pinkish-tinged bulbs, occasionally with inconspicuous stolons. Aerial stems absent. Leaves all basal, few to numerous (occasionally absent at flowering), the petiole glabrous or sparsely to densely pubescent with short, more or less spreading, multicellular, gland-tipped hairs, especially toward the base. Stipules represented by inconspicuous, narrow, tapered (occasionally broader and truncate apically) wings at the petiole base, these translucent. Leaflets 5–20 mm long, broadly obcordate (usually wider than long), the apical notch to 1/3 of the total length and usually with an orange to orangish brown thickening (a concentration of oxalate crystals), the upper surface glabrous, green to dark green and often reddish- to purplish-tinged or with purplish red to reddish purple or dark purple cross-markings, the undersurface glabrous or sparsely pubescent with short, more or less spreading, multicellular, gland-tipped hairs, green to dark green, but usually mottled to strongly tinged with purplish red to reddish purple or dark purple, the leaflet base sometimes with scattered, stiff, unicellular, nonglandular hairs, usually lacking purplish to brownish markings. Inflorescences umbellate with (2–)4–16 flowers, rarely reduced to a solitary flower. Sepals 4–6 mm long, oblong-lanceolate to narrowly oblong-elliptic or occasionally narrowly ovate, with usually 2 bright orange thickenings (concentrations of oxalate crystals) at the tip. Petals 9–20 mm long, pink, violet, or purple, rarely white;. Fruits 4–6 mm long, oblong-ellipsoid, glabrous. Seeds 1.0–1.5 mm long, brown, the surface somewhat wrinkled or with a faint network of ridges, these not grayish or whitened. 2n=28. April–July, sometimes also September–November.

Scattered nearly throughout the state, but less common in the Glaciated Plains Division (eastern U.S. west to South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Arizona). Openings and edges of mesic to dry upland forests, savannas, upland prairies, glades, tops and ledges of bluffs; also pastures, fallow fields, railroads, and roadsides.

Rare plants with white petals have been called f. albida Fassett, and those with gland-tipped petiolar hairs have been called f. trichophora Fassett. This species is very variable in leaflet size, petiole length, degree of red pigmentation, and corolla size and color. The inflorescences usually are held above the level of the leaf blades. Plants are sometimes encountered flowering while leafless, especially individuals that reflower from September to November.



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