Oxalis acetosella L.

1908 (2). 0. acetosella L., Sp. Pl. ed. 1 (1753) 433; Boiss,, Fl. Or. I (1867) 866; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc. I (1925) 568; Young, Fl. Eur. II (1968) 192; Exs.: Pl. Bulg. Exsicc. № 681— Обикновено киселиче, заешки киселец

Fam:   Oxalidaceae R. BR.
Genus:   Oxalis L.
Species: Oxalis acetosella L.
English Name:Wood sorrel, Common wood sorrel


Perennial plant. Rhizome thin, creeping on the soil surface, covered with fleshy reddish residues of basal leaves; plants without above-ground stems. Stipules missing. The leaves are triple, protruding direct from the rhizome, 2 - 10 cm long, thin, fibrous petioles; leaflets 1.0 - 2.7 cm long and 1.5 - 3.0 cm wide, back heart-shaped, almost sessile, on the edge on both sides rarely just fitted fibrous. The flowers are single. Flower petioles 2 - 10 cm long, rarely fibrous, exceeding the leaves and protruding directly from the rhizome. Bracts two, oppositely located around and above the middle of the flower petiole, 2.5 - 3.0 mm long, lance, obtuse, long simply fibrous. Sepals 4 - 5 mm long, 1.0 - 1.5 mm wide, 2 - 3 times shorter than the petals, oblong-lance, obtuse, along the edge and sometimes below the midrib fibrous. Petals 8 - 15 mm long, back ovoid, white with pink or purple veins, often with a yellow spot at the base. Late flowers without petals and cleistogamous. Stamens with fused at the base, with elongated anthers. Box 3 - 4 mm long, ovoid or oblong-ovate, glabrous. Seeds 2 - 3 mm long, ovoid, light brown , longitudinally ribbed.

From:   „Флора на Н. Р. България”, том VII, БАН, София, (1979)

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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.
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]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Flowering Time: Blooms: IV - VIII, fruitful VI - IX.

Distribution in Bulgaria: It grows in humid, shady, sandy and riverside places. Distributed, except on the Black Sea coast and the Danube plain, usually in forests, from 400 to 2000 m above sea level. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Europe, Asia (excluding the northern Arctic), Northwest Africa, North America.

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: yes, it is - Medicinal Plants Act -

References: „Флора на Н. Р. България”, том VII, БАН, София, (1979), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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