Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to oxalis: Oxalis corniculata


(ŏk`səlĭs) or

wood sorrel,

any species of the plant genus Oxalis. Most of the cultivated kinds are tropical herbs used as window plants. The leaves are usually cloverlike and respond to darkness with "sleep" movements by folding back their leaflets. Several species grow wild in North America, including the white wood sorrel (O. acetosella), widely distributed in the north temperate zone and one of the plants identified as the shamrockshamrock,
a plant with leaves composed of three leaflets. According to legend it was used by St. Patrick in explaining the doctrine of the Trinity; it is now used as the emblem of Ireland. An artificial or real shamrock leaf is customarily worn on St. Patrick's Day.
..... Click the link for more information.
. This and, to a lesser extent, other species have long been used for salads and greens because of their pleasantly acid taste; these species contain oxalic acidoxalic acid
or ethanedioic acid
, HO2CCO2H, a colorless, crystalline organic carboxylic acid that melts at 189°C; with sublimation. Oxalic acid and oxalate salts are poisonous. Oxalic acid is found in many plants, e.g.
..... Click the link for more information.
. O. tuberosa has a starchy tuber that has been valued in the high Andes for centuries. Although species of Oxalis are called sorrels, the genus is unrelated to the true sorrel, or dock (genus Rumex), of the buckwheat family. Oxalis is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information.
, class Magnoliopsida, order Geramales, family Oxalidaceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
Enlarge picture


Lemony fun citrus-like tangy flavor, can be used as seasoning for fish etc. Superficially resembles clover (3 heart-shaped leaves joined at tip) 5 petal flowers can be white, pink, red or yellow. The edible root tubers look like small red and white fingerling potatoes. Tastes great and lots of people eat it, but don't eat large amounts at once because of high levels of oxalic acid which binds calcium and is hard on the kidneys. It forms calcium oxalate which is insoluble.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of plants of the family Oxalidaceae. They are perennial and, less frequently, annual herbs; some are subshrubs. The leaves are alternate and usually ternately or palmately compound. The flowers are pentamerous; the fruit is a capsule. There are approximately 800 species, distributed primarily in Southern Africa, South America, and Mexico. Six species are found in the USSR. The European wood sorrel, or sheep sorrel (Oxalis acetosella), which is often found in shady coniferous forests, is a small stemless plant with a creeping rhizome. The trifoliate bracts fold up at night and in overcast weather. The flowers, which are solitary, are white with pinkish violet veins. The leaves of the European wood sorrel, like those of the procumbent yellow sorrel (O. corniculata), contain vitamin C and oxalic acid; they are toxic to sheep when consumed in large quantities. Some African and American species are cultivated in a number of countries for their edible tubers. Many species are cultivated as ornamentals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Caracteristico es la presencia de numerosas hierbas y helechos propios de ambientes humedos, como Aa mathewsii, Adiantumpoiretii, Cystopterisfragilis, Oxalis nubigena, Peperomia peruviana, Polypodium pycnocarpum, Stellaria cuspidata, Stellaria weddellii y Woodsia montevidensis, que suman un 4-5% de cobertura total.
Oxalis employs approximately 40 people and has two manufacturing sites in the United Kingdom.
Reuslts of our study revealed that Berberis lycium, Debregeasia saeneb and Oxalis stricta had medicinal importance, while Amaranthus spinosis, Astragalus anisacanthus, Caralluma edulis, Nasturtium officinale, Plantago major, Rumex hastatus and Sisymbrium officinale are important both as food supplement for animals and local inhabitants and other commercial uses such as herbal medicine, essentials, fiber and vitamins resources.
The chemotaxanomic and ethnopharmacological importance of the genus Oxalis prompted us to reinvestigate the chemical constitutents of O.
Similarly the weeds selected from sugarcane were Solanum nigrum, Cyperus rotundus, Euphorbia hirta, Malvestrum coromandelianum, Conyza ambigua, Convolvulus arvensis, Poa annua and Oxalis corniculata.
In addition, the purchase of the new equipment will enable the Oxalis Group to extend its product range resulting in an increase in employee numbers as the group looks to increase turnover by nearly half.
Johnst., Monnina macrostachya Ruiz & Pav., Oxalis lomana Diels, O.
The 30 people who attended saw and sampled a variety of locally-grown weeds and plants, including oxalis (which looks like a shamrock and has an acidic taste), daylilies (often used in Chinese cuisine, but some species can be toxic) and horsemint (which has white/purplish flowers, a strong scent and flavor comparable to garden mint).
Roedd y botwm crys yn amlwg iawn (Stellaria holostea; greater stitchwort) ac roedd suran y coed (Oxalis acetosella; wood sorrel) yn tyfu ymysg y mwsogl ar foncyff helygen oedd yn goferu dros yr afon.
Pepperwort and Oxalis are plants which are often mistaken for four-leaf clovers.
no interment of tantamount to sorrel, oxalis that means another word.