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Products > Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola 'Plum Crazy'
 
Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola 'Plum Crazy' - Plum Crazy Volcanic Sorrel
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Oxalidaeceae (Wood-sorrels)
Origin: Central America (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Variegated 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 'Plum Crazy' (Variegated 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 variegated with pink that emerge in spring along dark red stems that provide a interesting color contrast to the yellow flowers. Like the non-variegated form, this plant flowers mostly in spring and early summer in many locations, 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, a color matched in parts of 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. An interesting sprawling plant for use as a small groundcover under shrubs, at the front of a border or growing around rocks and stepping stones. It 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. We grow also this very attractive subspecies that lacks the pink variegation in the leaves. For more information on this plant see our listing of it at Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola. Our stock plants of 'Plum Crazy' came to us from the late Ted Kipping, who had this plant sprawling around his great San Francisco Rock Garden.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in our nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola 'Plum Crazy'.