Throwback Thursday: Pink Mother’s Day Flowers

Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area

Growing at the entrance to the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) hammock loop trail near the Herb Kale Nature Trail plaque, seemingly in honor of mother’s day, was pink wood sorrel (Oxalis debilis).  On our New Year’s Day nature walk, we saw this pretty plant flowering on the east-west trail near to the Vero South Square Shopping Plaza, and Donna Winter (Class of 2016) sent me an email request to verify her quite correct ID of the plant with the “shamrock” leaves.  It is no longer grows at the trail entrance.

Other common names for this plant include large-flowered pink sorrel, lilac oxalis, and pink shamrock.  Native to south America, this plant is now found colonizing all continents except for Antarctica. About 30 species of oxalis occur in the U.S., and 6 species are found in Florida.

This escaped exotic ornamental plant flowers supposedly flowers from spring through fall. Perhaps, Hurricane Irma spread its seeds and altered its “usual” flowering time. It can be quite weedy in behavior but has not been problematic at ORCA.

It can be distinguished from native violet wood sorrel (Oxalis violacea) by its hairy petioles (leaf stems) seen below.  Its leaves are generally larger, too.