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The Plant Guide

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Volcanic sorrel

Oxalis vulcanicola 'Zinfandel'

oks-AL-iss vul-kan-IK-oh-lah Audio

The old-fashioned shamrock house­plant is now high fashion. Several introductions from Proven Winners push this group to the fore for its elegant foliage; abundant, delicate flowers; and vigor. Only 6 to 10 inches high with a spread to 12 inches, this plant’s tiny, ¾-inch-wide, bronze-colored leaf clusters and bright yellow flowers are massed on trailing stems that spill over the sides of shaded window boxes and containers.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsNice houseplant.

CareThough this shamrock is frost tender, it is easy to overwinter indoors.

PropagationSow fresh seed or divide rhizomes. 

ProblemsFungal leaf spots, powdery mildew, rust, and seed smut are the most common problems, but also watch for spider mites and leaf miners. 

  • Genus : Oxalis
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 10, 11, 9
  • Plant Height : 6 to 12 inches
  • Uses : Containers, Ground Covers
  • Bloom Time : Early Spring, Early Summer, Late Spring, Late Summer, Spring, Summer
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
  • Flower Color : Yellow
View Comments


  1. user-7009039 01/18/2018

    Each autumn I try to bring in my Oxalis vulcanicola (different varieties). I put each one in a size appropriate pot, and it starts-the steady decline to death. I give them ordinary but good potting soil and keep them barely damp. This is the third year I've tried. Originally I tried keeping them in the community pot and storing it with my other tender or almost hardy pots in my attached garage. I have had great sucess keeping my plants over the winter year after year. Not these. Can someone shed some light on these beautiful plants? They don't seem to have a tuber or bulb.

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