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Oxalis acetosella

Oxalis acetosella (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Oxalidales

Familia: Oxalidaceae
Genus: Oxalis
Subgenus: O. subg. Oxalis
Sectio: O. sect. Oxalis
Species: Oxalis acetosella

Oxalis acetosella L., Sp. pl. 1:433, 1753.

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 433.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Oxalis acetosella in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: May 25, 2019.

Vernacular names
العربية: أقصليس حامض
azərbaycanca: Adi turşəng
žemaitėška: Zoikė kuopūsts
башҡортса: Ҡымыҙлыҡ үләне
беларуская: Кісліца звычайная
català: Pa de cucut de bosc
čeština: Šťavel kyselý
Cymraeg: Suran y coed
dansk: Skovsyre
Deutsch: Waldsauerklee
English: Wood-sorrel
español: Aleluya
eesti: Harilik jänesekapsas
euskara: Basoetako mingots
فارسی: شبدر ترشک جنگلی
suomi: Käenkaali
français: Oxalis petite oseille
galego: Aleluia
Gaelg: Bee cooag
हिन्दी: खट्टी मीठी घास
hrvatski: Zečja soca
hornjoserbsce: Lěsny nahlenc
magyar: Erdei madársóska
Ido: Sovaja oxalo
íslenska: Súrsmæra
italiano: Acetosella
日本語: コミヤマカタバミ
Limburgs: Hazeklieë
lietuvių: Paprastasis kiškiakopūstis
norsk bokmål: Gjøkesyre
नेपाली: चरी अमिलो
Nederlands: Witte klaverzuring
norsk nynorsk: Gaukesyre
polski: Szczawik zajęczy
پنجابی: کاسنی کھٹی پتی
русский: Кислица обыкновенная
Scots: Sourock
slovenčina: Kyslička obyčajná
српски / srpski: Кисељача
svenska: Harsyra
Türkçe: Orman ekşi yoncası
українська: Квасениця звичайна
vèneto: Pancùco
Tiếng Việt: Chua me núi
中文: 白花酢浆草

Oxalis acetosella, the wood sorrel or common wood sorrel, is a rhizomatous flowering plant in the family Oxalidaceae, common in most of Europe and parts of Asia. The specific epithet acetosella refers to its sour taste. The common name wood sorrel is often used for other plants in the genus Oxalis. In much of its range it is the only member of its genus and hence simply known as "the" wood sorrel. While common wood sorrel may be used to differentiate it from most other species of Oxalis, in North America, Oxalis montana is also called common wood sorrel. It is also known as Alleluia because it blossoms between Easter and Pentecost, when the Psalms which end with Hallelujah are sung.


The plant has trifoliate compound leaves, the leaflets heart-shaped and folded through the middle, that occur in groups of three on petioles up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) long. It flowers from spring to midsummer with small white chasmogamous flowers with pink streaks. Red or violet flowers also occur rarely.[1]: 116  During the night or when it rains the flowers close and the leaves fold.

As with other species of wood sorrel, the leaves are sometimes eaten. An oxalate called "sal acetosella" was formerly extracted from the plant, through boiling.
Oxalis acetosella growing at Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland.

Anemone nemorosa (wood anemone) is similar. Both have white flowers, are small and are found in woody shady places. Anemone nemorosa however has palmately lobed leaves and does not have true petals but large sepals which are petal-like.[2]

Woods and shady places in the northern hemisphere.[1]

Common in Great Britain[1]and Ireland.[3]

The common wood sorrel is sometimes referred to as a shamrock and given as a gift on St. Patrick's Day. This is due to its trifoliate clover-like leaf, and to early references to shamrock being eaten. Despite this, it is generally accepted that the plant described as shamrock is a species of clover, usually lesser clover (Trifolium dubium).

Blanchan, Neltje (2005). Wild Flowers Worth Knowing. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.

Clapham, A.R., Tutin, T.G. and Warburg E.F. 1968. Excursion Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0 521 04656 4
Parnell, J. and Curtis, T. 2012. Webb's An Irish Flora. Cork University Press. ISBN 978-185918-4783
Scannell, M.J.P. and Synnott, D.M. 1972 Census Catalogue of the Flora of Ireland Dublin Paperback. Stationery Office. ASIN: B0006CRR94 pp 127

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