Wood Sorrel
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Wood Sorrel
aturalized trifoliate Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Wood Sorrel, Broadleaf woodsorrel, Mexican oxalis • Hindi: खट् मिट्ठी Khatmitthi • Manipuri: Yensil • Nepali: चरी अमिलो Chari Amilo
Botanical name: Oxalis latifolia    Family: Oxalidaceae (Wood sorrel family)

There are more than 800 species of woodsorrels or "shamrocks." Most have clover-like leaves with three leaflets, sour tasting foliage (from the oxalic acid), and flowers and leaves that close up at night. Broadleaf woodsorrel has distinctly triangular leaflets, white or pinkish flowers with green throats, and grows from a thickened, bulblike taproot. It has no stems at all. Instead, the 8-10 in leaf petioles and flower pedicels arise directly from the rootstock. The leaflets are like equilateral triangles, about 2 in on a side and smooth bright green. The five-petaled, funnel-shaped flowers are about 1 in across and borne in loose, open clusters throughout the whole summer and fall. Broadleaf woodsorrel spreads readily from underground runners and forms a ground cover in moist, shady areas. Wood sorrels occur naturally on all continents.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Nainital.

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