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Oxalis pes-caprae L.

Sp.Pl. 1:434 (1753)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Bulbaceous and rhizomatous, perennial, herb, 0.1-0.3 m high. Fl. yellow, Jun to Oct. A common weed.

Grazyna Paczkowska, Descriptive Catalogue, 12 August 1996


IBRA Regions
Avon Wheatbelt, Coolgardie, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Mallee, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren, Yalgoo.
IBRA Subregions
Eastern Goldfield, Fitzgerald, Geraldton Hills, Katanning, Merredin, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Tallering, Warren, Western Mallee.
IMCRA Regions
Central West Coast, Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Armadale, Augusta Margaret River, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Bruce Rock, Busselton, Cambridge, Capel, Cockburn, Cottesloe, Cunderdin, Dalwallinu, Dundas, Gnowangerup, Gosnells, Greater Geraldton, Harvey, Irwin, Kalamunda, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Kondinin, Koorda, Mandurah, Manjimup, Melville, Moora, Mount Marshall, Murray, Narrogin, Nedlands, Northampton, Perth, Pingelly, Plantagenet, Quairading, Ravensthorpe, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Shark Bay, South Perth, Stirling, Swan, Wanneroo, Waroona, Yalgoo.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Sour Grass.

General Biology. Growth form. Geophyte. Life form. Annually renewed bulb. Reproduction. Bulbils. Dispersal. Soil, birds. Fire response. Generally survives fire.

Notes. In South Africa Oxalis pes-caprae is represented by diploid and tetraploid races. The short styled, sterile pentaploid race reported as invasive elsewhere is apparently uncommon in South Africa. Throughout most of its invasive range O. pes-caprae reproduces asexually by bulbils, rarely setting seed. Prefers disturbed sites. Some evidence it influences soil phosporous cycling. Soil disturbance can greatly enhance invasion.

Additional information. Origin. South Africa.

Suggested method of management and control. Spot spray metsulfuron methyl 0.2 g/15 L + Pulse®, or 1% glyphosate. Apply at bulb exhaustion, generally just on flowering. Exercise care if manually removing as physical removal can result in spread of bulbils. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Dormant Y Y Y               Y Y  
Active Growth       Y Y Y Y Y Y Y      
Flowering           Y Y Y Y        
Optimum Treatment           Y Y            

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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