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Products > Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola
Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola - Volcanic Sorrel
Image of Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Oxalidaeceae (Wood-sorrels)
Origin: Central America (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Year-round
Synonyms: [Xanthoxalis vulcanicola]
Height: <1 foot
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25░ F
Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola (Volcanic Sorrel) - A tender sprawling evergreen perennial to 8 inches tall by 2 feet or more wide with semi-succulent stems that spread to create a low, mounding mat of red foliage growing from small swollen tubers - will trail down over and drape a couple feet over an edge. It is semi dormant in winter with small rusty red to deep burgundy shamrock-like leaves emerging in spring along dark red stems that provide a great foil to the yellow flowers. In cooler or hotter locations it flowers in spring and early summer but in our mild coastal climate it is covered most of the year with attractive small five-petaled yellow flowers rising on delicate pink peduncles an inch or two about the foliage. The flowers have delicate red lines running down their throats the same color as the foliage. Plant in full coastal sun, where it has the deepest color and remains most compact, to part sun or bright shade in a well-draining organic rich soil. With its succulent stems it can get by with only occasional irrigation but looks best with a bit more frequent watering. Evergreen in frost free locations but stem hardy down to around 20 ░F and used as an annual in colder climates. A nice sprawling plant for use as a small groundcover under shrubs or at the front of a border. Also makes a great container or hanging basket plant and is particularly nice trailing down over a wall. The species Oxalis spiralis is native to Central and South America, ranging from Chiapas to Peru and this subspecies, Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola, ranges from El Salvador, through Costa Rica into Panama where it grows in evergreen montane forests from 4,600 to nearly 11,00 feet. It was first collected at the Cordillera de Talamanca near the Iraz˙ Volcano (Volcan Iraz˙) in central Costa Rica, which gives this plant its subspecies epithet. The specific epithet means spiraled and likely refers to the spiral overlapping petals of the flowers. This subspecies is also occasionally seen with the cultivar names 'Zinfandel', 'Burgundy' and 'Dark Form' to describe its dark foliage and it is also commonly called Velvet Oxalis. Our stock plants originally from Annie's Annuals. 

This information about Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.