Oxalis spiralis ssp. vulcanicola

Family: Oxalidaceae

Common names: SHAMROCK, SORREL

Synonym: Oxalis vulcanicola

Native to: South Africa


Type: perennial

Forms: clumping, dense form, rosette, spreading

Leaves evergreen

Max height: 0.50 feet

Max width: 2.3 feet






Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, specific butterfly species

Plant features: evergreen

Exposure: sun

Landscape use: container

Propagates by: seed

flowers in summer

Soil type: wide range

USDA Zone: zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: +20 to +30 °F

Water: regular

There are 545 species of Oxalis, or SHAMROCK, an Oxalidaceae. Many are cultivated and grow in Zones 7 11. They prefer regular watering. The flowering season varies and their height ranges from less than ½ foot to nearly 1½ feet tall. Some SHAMROCK is deciduous while others are evergreen. Some species create a naturalized patch – invasive by some gardening standards.

Pholisora catullus, COMMON SOOTYWING, comes to Oxalis to feed

Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

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