oxalis

oxalis
/ok"seuh lis, ok sal"is/, n.
any plant of the genus Oxalis, comprising the wood sorrels.
[1595-1605; < L: garden sorrel, sour wine < Gk oxalís, deriv. of oxýs sharp]

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Any of about 850 species of small herbaceous plants that make up the genus Oxalis, native mostly to southern Africa and tropical and South America.

Most members are familiar garden ornamentals. The name (Greek for "acid") reflects the plant's sharp acidic taste. The common wood sorrel (O. acetosella) of eastern North America and Britain is a small, stemless plant with cloverlike three-part leaves, whose leaflets fold back and droop at night. The flowers have five white, purple-veined petals. After the fruit splits open, the fleshy coat of the seed curls back elastically, ejecting the true seed.

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▪ plant genus
      genus of small herbaceous plants, in the family Oxalidaceae, comprising about 850 species, native primarily to southern Africa and tropical and South America. A few South American species have edible tubers or roots, but most members of the genus are familiar as garden ornamentals. The name is derived from the Greek word oxalis (“acid”) because the plants have an acidic taste. The common wood sorrel (O. acetosella) of eastern North America and Great Britain is a small, stemless plant with cloverlike three-parted leaves. The leaves arise from a creeping, scaly rootstock, and the flowers are borne singly on a stalk that arises from the leaf axil. The flowers have five white, purple-veined petals. The fruit is a capsule that splits open by valves. The seeds have a fleshy coat, which curls back elastically, ejecting the true seed. The leaflets, as in other species of the genus, fold back and droop at night. Besides the wood sorrel, about 20 other species occur in North America, among which are the yellow wood sorrel (O. stricta), of the eastern United States and Canada, with yellow flowers; the violet wood sorrel (O. violacea), of the eastern United States, with rose-purple flowers; the redwood wood sorrel (O. oregana), of the coast redwood belt from California to Oregon, with pink to white flowers; and O. cernua, known as Bermuda buttercups, with showy yellow flowers, native to southern Africa and naturalized in Florida and the Bermudas. Another yellow-flowered kind is the weedy, creeping oxalis (O. corniculata). Both O. stricta and O. corniculata are widely naturalized in the Old World. The tubers of O. tuberosa, the oca of South America, and the roots of O. deppei, a bulbous Mexican species, are edible.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oxalis — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Oxalis (homonymie) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • oxalis — OXÁLIS s. m. plantă erbacee ale cărei frunze conţin acid oxalic; măcriş. (< fr., lat. oxalis) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • Oxalis — Ox a*lis, n. [L., a kind of sorrel, Gr. oxali s, fr. oxy s sharp, pungent, acid.] (Bot.) A genus of plants, mostly herbs, with acid tasting trifoliolate or multifoliolate leaves; called also {wood sorrel}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Oxălis — (O. L.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Oxalideae, 10. Kl. 5. Ordn. L.; Kelch fünfblätterig, 5 Blumenblätter, 10 Staubgefäße, an der Basis kurz einbrüderig, die fünf äußeren kürzer, 5 Griffel, Kapsel länglich; Arten sehr zahlreich: O.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Oxălis — L. (Sauerklee), Gattung der Oxalidazeen, Kräuter oder Sträucher, bisweilen kletternd, mit Knollen oder Zwiebelbildung, fleischigen Schuppen an den Ausläufern, auch mit nachträglich fleischig werdender Hauptachse, meist drei oder mehrzähligen,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Oxalis — Oxălis L., Pflanzengattg. der Oxalideen, mit drei oder vierzähligen Blättern. O. acetosella L. (gemeiner Sauerklee, Hasenklee, ampfer, kohl, Kuckucks , Buchklee, Kleesalzkraut [Abb. 1305]), mit rötlichweißen Blüten, bei uns in schattigen,… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • oxalis — [äk′sə lis] n. [L, garden sorrel < Gr < oxys, acid, sour: see OXY 2] WOOD SORREL …   English World dictionary

  • Oxalis — For other uses, see Oxalis (disambiguation). Oxalis Oxalis griffithii Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Oxalis — Oxalidaceae Waldsauerklee (Oxalis acetosella), Illustration Systematik Abteilung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oxalis —   Oxalis …   Wikipedia Español

  • Oxalis — Oxalis …   Wikipédia en Français

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