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Price's Wood Sorrel, Tufted Yellow Woodsorrel - Oxalis macrantha


Family: Oxalidaceae - Wood-Sorrel family Genus Common Name: Wood Sorrel Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Oxalis macrantha - Price's Wood Sorrel, Tufted Yellow Woodsorrel. Oxalis is a large genus of around 700 species worldwide, and identification can be difficult, and classification is changing and confusing. There are around 36 North American species. Price's Wood Sorrel is is one of the eastern species, and many authorities classify it as Oxalis priceae, but apparently Oxalis macrantha is an older name, and should be used. There are some variants that are variously classified as separate species (such as Oxalis texana - aka Oxalis macrantha ssp. texana - and Oxalis colorea - aka Oxalis macrantha ssp. colorea. Oxalis macrantha ssp. priceae is apparently the type subspecies, and is found primarily in limestone glades (aka cedar glades) primarily in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, where the specimen presented here was photographed. If you include all subspecies, the distribution ranges westward to Texas, eastward to include Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.

Found in:
AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX
Oxalis macrantha

Distribution of Oxalis macrantha in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 21 Oct 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Jones Mill Mountain Bike Trail, Long Hunter State Park, Davidson County, TN Date: 2017-May-11Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Price's Wood Sorrel is one of the showy yellow (to orange) members of Oxalis, with flowers up to about an inch and a half across with red lines near the base. There may be as many as 8 flowers in the inflorescence.
Oxalis macrantha

Site: Jones Mill Mountain Bike Trail, Long Hunter State Park, Davidson County, TN Date: 2017-May-11Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Oxalis macrantha is usually from 4 to 12 inches tall, but may occasionally reach 15 inches. This particular specimen is at the lower end of that range. The flowers are held above the leaves.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Oxalis macrantha

Site: Jones Mill Mountain Bike Trail, Long Hunter State Park, Davidson County, TN Date: 2017-May-11Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The "Tufted Yellow Wood Sorrel" name presumably is derived from the very hairy stems, petioles, and pedicels. Oxalis macrantha is one of the Wood Sorrels with leaves on the stem. (As always, basal vs caudal leaves is an important identifying characteristic.)
Click on the photo for a larger image
Oxalis macrantha

Site: Jones Mill Mountain Bike Trail, Long Hunter State Park, Davidson County, TN Date: 2017-May-11Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Many people call Oxalis "False Shamrock" or "Shamrock" due to the shape of the leaves. The leaf of most North American Oxalis have 3 leaflets. They are often confused with Clover, but most Wood Sorrels have a notch at the apex, giving the leaflet a distinct heart-shape; clovers do not have the notch, but instead have a more rounded apex, and may even have a tooth at the tip. The margins and surface of the leaf may be hairy, or the surface may occasionally be glabrate, as here. The margin may be red lined.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Oxalis macrantha

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer