Oxalis latifolia (sorrel)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Oxalis latifolia Kunth (1822)
Preferred Common Name
International Common Names
- English: fishtail oxalis (Australia)
- Spanish: trebol de huerta
Local Common Names
- Bolivia: taru taru
- Brazil: trevo
- Colombia: acedera; trebol de jardin; trebol falso
- Cuba: vinagrillo
- Germany: Breitblaettriger sauerklee
- India: khati-buti; phiphru; tipatia weed
- Indonesia: tjalintjing gede
- Madagascar: kodidimborana
- Mauritius: oseille; trefle
- Mexico: acedera; acederilla; trebol
- South Africa: red garden sorrel; rooituinsuring
- Spain: chuminbedderra
- Sri Lanka: puliyarai
- Uganda: katanpuni
- Venezuela: vinagrillo
- OXALA (Oxalis latifolia)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Geraniales
- Family: Oxalidaceae
- Genus: Oxalis
- Species: Oxalis latifolia
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
In the typical form of O. latifolia the bulbils are formed at the end of stolons up to 10 cm long, which may number 30 or more. The leaves, on petioles up to 30 cm long, are glabrous, trifoliate, with individual leaflets broadly fish-tail shaped, 3-6 cm across. The leaflets fold along the midrib at night. The peduncles, about the same length, carry an umbel of 5-12 flowers, each flower 10-20 mm across, erect while open but reflexed before and after. The five sepals each have two orange glands at the tip. The five petals are greenish on the outside, a rich purple inside, changing abruptly to become paler towards the base. O. latifolia has the potential for tristyly, having two sets of five stamens of different length but weedy populations are almost invariably short-styled, with medium and long stamens.
In Cornwall (UK), Spain, New Zealand and California, USA, atypical forms (sometimes referred to as 'Cornwall type') occur, with bulbils all sessile (no stolons), leaflets much more rounded (less broadly fish-tailed), and flowers distinctly paler in colour (see Young 1958; Esler, 1962; Robb, 1963). At least two different atypical clones occur in Cornwall. These are also short-styled, with the possible exception of one mid-styled population in New Zealand (Esler, 1962).
When seeds are formed, they are orange to dark yellow, about 1 mm long and ribbed. The capsules have the explosive character of O. corniculata and seeds may be thrown up to 40 cm (Rivals, 1960).
Chromosome number (2n) = 14. Triploid forms are known from Mexico (Holm et al., 1997).
Useful review papers on O. latifolia include those by Holm et al. (1997), Parsons and Cuthbertson (1992) and Marshall (1987).
DistributionTop of page
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 10 Feb 2022
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Congo, Republic of the||Present|
|-Himachal Pradesh||Present||Original citation: Kunar & Singh, 1990|
|Sri Lanka||Present, Widespread|
|France||Present||Introduced||First reported: 1961 - 1964|
|Slovakia||Present||Introduced||First reported: 1981. First reported in wild: 1987|
|-Canary Islands||Present||Introduced||First reported: 1960's|
|United Kingdom||Present, Localized||Native|
|-New South Wales||Present||Original citation: Parsons and WT, Cuthbertson (1992)|
|-Queensland||Present||Original citation: Parsons and WT, Cuthbertson (1992)|
|-South Australia||Present||Original citation: Parsons and WT, Cuthbertson (1992)|
|-Tasmania||Present||Original citation: Parsons and WT, Cuthbertson (1992)|
|-Victoria||Present||Original citation: Parsons and WT, Cuthbertson (1992)|
|-Western Australia||Present||Original citation: Parsons and WT, Cuthbertson (1992)|
|New Zealand||Present, Widespread|
|Brazil||Present||Original citation: Estelita & Teixeira, 1982|
|-Minas Gerais||Present||Original citation: Nunas-Vidal et al., 1987|
|-Sao Paulo||Present||Original citation: Estelita-Texeira, 1982|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
HabitatTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Allium cepa (onion)||Liliaceae||Main|
|Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Camellia sinensis (tea)||Theaceae||Main|
|Glycine max (soyabean)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Gossypium hirsutum (Bourbon cotton)||Malvaceae||Main|
|Malus domestica (apple)||Rosaceae||Main|
|Manihot esculenta (cassava)||Euphorbiaceae||Main|
|Oryza sativa (rice)||Poaceae||Main|
|Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)||Poaceae||Main|
|Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)||Solanaceae||Unknown|
|Solanum tuberosum (potato)||Solanaceae||Main|
|Zea mays (maize)||Poaceae||Main|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
The behaviour of the bulbs of O. latifolia has been the subject of several studies. Most bulbils remain dormant while still attached to the parent plant, though Marshall and Gitari (1988) note that the first bulbils to be produced usually develop one or more leaves while still attached. Factors involved in breaking the dormancy of the bulbs include chilling (5°C for 3 weeks) and dry heat (45°C for several hours) (Chawdhry and Sagar, 1974a). Dormancy can last more for more than one year (Holm et al., 1997). In a study by Esler (1962) all bulbs emerged from 8 cm depth and 20% from 20 cm. On sprouting, the bulbs produce a ring of adventitious roots, one of which later becomes the main fleshy taproot. Petioles are then produced from the inner membranous scales. Stolon development follows the formation of the taproot. Plants growing from bulbils may not flower in their first or even second season of growth but develop gradually larger bulbs. Eventually, peduncles develop from the axils of the outer membranous scales. The parent bulb disintegrates at the end of a growing season but is replaced by a new main bulb, which may draw on the taproot for resources as the latter shrivels.
O. latifolia occurs on a wide range of soil types. The bulbs survive short periods of freezing but are killed by prolonged exposure to sub-zero temperatures.
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
ImpactTop of page
O. latifolia is an alternate host of Puccinia sorghi.
Uses ListTop of page
- Host of pest
- Poisonous to mammals
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
O. corymbosa is a widespread weed, overlapping in distribution with O. latifolia in some areas. It differs in having more rounded leaflets, distinguished from those of 'Cornwall type' O. latifolia by the presence of orange glands around the leaf margins, while the flowers have a less uniform purple coloration, with darker contrasting veins which extend towards the base of the petals.
O. semiloba occurs in eastern and southern Africa and has foliage and flowers similar to those of O. latifolia, but uprooting reveals a distinct vertical stem above the bulb.
O. oxyptera occurs in Brazil and is very similar to O. latifolia above ground but the underground 'bulb' is elongated to form a scaly vertical rhizome (Estelita-Teixeira, 1982).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
O. latifolia is exceptionally difficult to control by manual or mechanical means. Superficial hoeing or hand-pulling does nothing to destroy the bulbs, while harrowing and rotary tillage helps only to disperse them. A combination of deep tillage and desiccation can be helpful. Thomas (1991) noted that chisel ploughing followed by mouldboard and/or disc ploughing resulted in more suppression than chisel ploughing alone. Defoliation by mowing has to be repeated many times to have substantial effect. Chawdhry and Sagar (1974b) showed that clipping was needed at least five times to reduce growth by 90%, while Esler (1962) showed that monthly defoliation had almost no useful effect. The surest form of cultural control is by the use of smothering crops or mulching. Ingle et al. (1995) confirmed the effectiveness of black polythene or 'weed matting' over one and two year periods in New Zealand, while Ochoa and Zaragoza (1981) refer to the use of fodder crops in Spain. There are no reports on solarization, but there seems no reason why this would not be effective under suitable high temperature/clear sky conditions.
The most successful chemical treatments have been with fumigants. Soil drenches with metam-sodium have given good results (Hunter and Over de Linden, 1958), though control is not always complete.
Many standard herbicides fail to control O. latifolia and tend to favour it. These include most triazines and metolachlor. However, Marshall (1987) lists a range of compounds suitable for specific crop situations. These include trifluralin, oxyfluorfen, oxadiazon, terbacil, EPTC and diuron as pre-emergence treatments. Other compounds with potential include pendimethalin and imazethapyr. Chlorsulfuron, metribuzin and methabenzthiazuron are effective against O. pes-caprae and could be useful on O. latifolia (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992). Among post-emergence treatments 2,4-D is only effective at high doses, whilst paraquat needs repeated application. Glyphosate is especially valuable in tree and fruit crops, preferably at the bulb exhaustion stage.
ReferencesTop of page
Arya MPS, 1995. Phytosociological studies of kharif season weeds with special reference to Oxalis latifolia in U. P. Hills. Indian Journal of Weed Science, 27:83-86.
Atwal BS, Gopal R, 1972. Oxalis latifolia and its control by chemical and mechanical methods in hills. Indian Journal of Weed Science, 4(2):74-80.
Esler AE, 1962. Some aspects of the autecology of Oxalis latifolia H. B. K. Proceedings of the 15th New Zealand Weed Control Conference, Palmerston North, New Zealand, 87-90.
Gobatto, D., Oliveira, L. A. de, Franco, D. A. de S., Velásquez, N., Daròs, J. A., Eiras, M., 2019. Surveys in the chrysanthemum production areas of Brazil and Colombia reveal that weeds are potential reservoirs of chrysanthemum stunt viroid. Viruses, 11(4), 355. doi: 10.3390/v11040355
Holm LG, Doll J, Holm E, Pancho JV, Herberger JP, 1997. World Weeds: Natural Histories and Distribution. New York, USA: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Hunter JA, Over de Linden AJ, 1958. The Oxalis problem. Growth characteristics and control of two species. New Zealand Gardener, 15:23-33.
Ingle T, Wright S, Popay I, 1995. Mulches and fatty acid herbicides for the control of fishtail oxalis. Proceedings of the forty eighth New Zealand plant protection conference, Angus Inn, Hastings, New Zealand, August 8-10, 1995., 333-334; 1 ref.
Jackson DI, 1960. A growth study of Oxalis latifolia H. B. K. New Zealand Journal of Science, 3:600-609.
Macharia, I., Backhouse, D., Wu, S. B., Ateka, E. M., 2016. Weed species in tomato production and their role as alternate hosts of Tomato spotted wilt virus and its vector Frankliniella occidentalis. Annals of Applied Biology, 169(2), 224-235. doi: 10.1111/aab.12297
Matthew KM, 1969. The exotic flora of Kodaikanal Palni Hills. Records of the Botanical Survey of India, 20(1).
Ochoa J MJ, Zaragoza L C, 1981. Presence of Oxalis latifolia Kunth. in irrigated crops in the central Ebro Valley. Presencia de Oxalis latifolia Kunth. en cultivos de regadio en el Valle medio del Ebro. [Paper given at] Herbicidas en Hortofruticultura. XIII Jornadas de Estudio de la Asociacion Interprofesional para el Desarrollo Agrario 1981., 8 pp.
Prathibha NC, Muniyappa TV, Murthy BG, 1995. Studies on chemical weed control of Oxalis latifolia on growth, yield and quality of grapes. Journal of Maharashtra Agricultural Universities, 20(2):202-205; 9 ref.
Rivals P, 1960. On the life and problems of control of Oxalis latifolia Kunth. Journal of Agriculture Tropicale et Botanique Applique, 7:397-405.
Robb SM, 1963. Oxalis latifolia Kunth. New Phytologist, 62:75-79.
Valentine DH, 1968. LXXXII. Oxalidaceae. In: Tutin TG, Heywood VH, Burges NA, Moore DM, Valentine DH, Walters SM, Webb DA, eds. Flora Europaea, Volume 2. Rosaceae to Umbelliferae. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 192-193.
Vergaças, P. S. R., Ferreira, A. B. M., Franco, D. A. de S., Leite, L. G., Campos, W. N., Harakava, R., Bueno Júnior, C., 2018. Survey of Phaeomoniella chlamydospora in vineyard weeds. Summa Phytopathologica, 44(3), 218-222. doi: 10.1590/0100-5405/180135
Young DP, 1958. Oxalis in the British Isles. Watsonia, 4(2):51-69.
Arya MPS, 1995. Phytosociological studies of kharif season weeds with special reference to Oxalis latifolia in U. P. Hills. In: Indian Journal of Weed Science, 27 83-86.
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Dangwal L R, Antima Sharma, Amandeep Singh, Rana C S, Tajinder Singh, 2011. Weed flora of S.R.T. Campus Badshahi Thaul Tehri Garhwal (H.N.B. Garhwal Central University, Uttarakhand), India. Pakistan Journal of Weed Science Research. 17 (4), 387-396. http://www.wssp.org.pk/174-10.pdf
Gobatto D, Oliveira L A de, Franco D A de S, Velásquez N, Daròs J A, Eiras M, 2019. Surveys in the chrysanthemum production areas of Brazil and Colombia reveal that weeds are potential reservoirs of chrysanthemum stunt viroid. Viruses. 11 (4), 355. DOI:10.3390/v11040355
Macharia I, Backhouse D, Wu S B, Ateka E M, 2016. Weed species in tomato production and their role as alternate hosts of Tomato spotted wilt virus and its vector Frankliniella occidentalis. Annals of Applied Biology. 169 (2), 224-235. DOI:10.1111/aab.12297
Matthew KM, 1969. The exotic flora of Kodaikanal Palni Hills. In: Records of the Botanical Survey of India, 20 (1)
Prathibha N C, Muniyappa T V, Murthy B G, 1995. Studies on chemical weed control of Oxalis latifolia on growth, yield and quality of grapes. Journal of Maharashtra Agricultural Universities. 20 (2), 202-205.
Romo J P, Osorio J G M, Yepes M S, 2012. Identification of new hosts for Ralstonia solanacearum (Smith) race 2 from Colombia. Revista de Protección Vegetal. 27 (3), 151-161. http://scielo.sld.cu/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-27522012000300003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en
Seebens H, Blackburn T M, Dyer E E, Genovesi P, Hulme P E, Jeschke J M, Pagad S, Pyšek P, Winter M, Arianoutsou M, Bacher S, Blasius B, Brundu G, Capinha C, Celesti-Grapow L, Dawson W, Dullinger S, Fuentes N, Jäger H, Kartesz J, Kenis M, Kreft H, Kühn I, Lenzner B, Liebhold A, Mosena A (et al), 2017. No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide. Nature Communications. 8 (2), 14435. http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14435
Soares D J, 2008. Grey mould caused by Botrytis cinerea on Oxalis latifolia from Brazil. Australasian Plant Disease Notes. 3 (1), 85-86. http://www.publish.csiro.au/view/journals/dsp_journal_fulltext.cfm?nid=208&f=DN08034
Valentine DH, 1968. (LXXXII. Oxalidaceae). In: Flora Europaea. Rosaceae to Umbelliferae, 2 [ed. by Tutin TG, Heywood VH, Burges NA, Moore DM, Valentine DH, Walters SM, Webb DA]. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 192-193.
Vergaças P S R, Ferreira A B M, Franco D A de S, Leite L G, Campos W N, Harakava R, Bueno Júnior C, 2018. Survey of Phaeomoniella chlamydospora in vineyard weeds. Summa Phytopathologica. 44 (3), 218-222. DOI:10.1590/0100-5405/180135
Wibowo T, Iskandar E A P, 2013. Broadleaved weeds in turf grass blocks of Cibodas Botanic Garden, Cianjur, Indonesia [Conference poster]. In: The role of weed science in supporting food security by 2020. Proceedings of the 24th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference, Bandung, Indonesia, October 22-25, 2013 [The role of weed science in supporting food security by 2020. Proceedings of the 24th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference, Bandung, Indonesia, October 22-25, 2013.], [ed. by Bakar B H, Kurniadie D, Tjitrosoedirdjo S]. Bandung, Indonesia: Weed Science Society of Indonesia. 578-582.
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