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Linnaeus named the genus Oxalis in 1753.

Oxalis dillenii (Yellow Wood Sorrel)
Oxalidaceae (Flax Family)

Montane. Openings, meadows. Summer.
Turkey Springs Trail, June 26, 2007.

In the Four Corners area, this tiny Oxalis is found only in Apache County, Arizona and Archuleta County, Colorado.  It is quite common, though, in the mid-western and eastern United States.  Stems and petioles have hairs; leaves are smooth and shiny.

Greek ""oxys", meaning "sharp", was given for the sharp, sour, taste of the plant.  In 1732 the plant was first documented in a drawing by botanical illustrator, J. Dillenius, and the plant was named by Nicolaus Jacquin in 1794.  (More biographical information about Dillenius.)

Oxalis dillenii (Yellow Wood Sorrel)
Oxalidaceae (Flax Family)

Montane. Openings, meadows. Summer.
Turkey Springs Trail, June 26, 2007.

 

Oxalis violacea (Violet Wood Sorrel)
Oxalidaceae (Wood Sorrel Family)

Montane.  Meadows.  Summer.
East Fork of the San Juan, June 25, 2007.

In the Four Corners area, this uncommon Wood Sorrel occurs just in a few counties of Colorado and New Mexico.  It is a very common plant of the mid-western and eastern United States.  The flower is not violet, as its name might seem to imply, but rather light pink, white, or lavender.  The plant grows five-to-eight inches tall; enjoys rocky, dry areas; and can form large colonies from its spreading runners.

Linnaeus named this species in 1753.

Oxalis violacea (Violet Wood Sorrel)
Oxalidaceae (Wood Sorrel Family)

Montane.  Meadows.  Summer.
East Fork of the San Juan, June 25, 2007.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Oxalis dillenii

Range map for Oxalis violacea