Oxalis debilis var. corymbosa (OXALIDACEAE) Pink Shamrock, Lilac Oxalis

Weeds to Whack

This common weed of gardens and lawns is also found throughout bushcare sites in urban or farming communities. Leaves and flowers are borne on long stalks emerging from an underground bulb. Leaves are divided into three heart-shaped (obcordate) leaflets. Weed risk low, an innocuous plant.

Photo: Matt Tomkins

Flower Close-up

Flowers are funnel shaped, with pink or mauve petals in bunches. The leaves contain oxalic acid, which gives them their sharp flavour. The leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since oxalic acid can bind up the body’s supply of calcium leading to nutritional deficiency. The quantity of oxalic acid will be reduced if the leaves are cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition [Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. 1995 ISBN 0-7513-020-31]. All Oxalis species are declared noxious in Western Australia and Tasmania.

Photo: Robert Whyte