Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cape Shamrock

Oxalis bowiei

Cape shamrock (Oxalis bowiei) is a South African native that blooms in the fall, when not many of my other houseplants are blooming.  Here the flower looks huge and a lot like a morning glory, doesn't it?  I do think it's just as pretty, but the photo is deceptive...it's only about an inch across.  And the petals aren't fused, even though it's hard to tell that either.

This particular plant has been in bloom on my windowsill for about a month so far.  It will probably go on like this at least until the holidays cactuses and Hippeastrum start to show off.  In Spring, just about when the St. Patrick's Day shamrocks (Oxalis regnelii) conveniently start to bloom, the foliage of cape shamrock will die back and the bulbs will rest until next fall.

~*~

6 comments:

  1. Pretty pink. I don't have any Oxalis, thinking abut some for the garden....maybe. My holiday cactus are dropping their buds AGAIN. Last year I had them near a draft, thought that was it, so this year, they are in a different spot. May have to do some more investigation into why the buds are falling off.

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    1. Janet, I have a pink oxalis in the garden that was here when we moved in almost 20 years ago...a pest! I think it's Oxalis crassipes? It spreads by the tiniest piece of bulb and seed, too. But the one above is not supposed to do that according to Plant Delights. And, it could go outside in our zone, but I'm going to keep mine in a pot in the window.

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  2. Oh, I like it--very cheerful, plus it blooms for a month or more? Sold! Daricia, I'm such a houseplant killer, but I'm trying to reform. We finally have some decent light in the house now after our remodeling last year, and I'm determined to stop murdering indoor plants. I'm going to add this to my list. Any other suggestions? My Christmas cactus is doing well, and I'm trying to nurse back to health two orchids. We'll see...they still look pitiful. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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    1. Julie, light will help for sure. I've been quite the houseplant (and every other kind of plant) killer, too. I think it depends a lot on which plants you really like and want to keep taking care of, but there are some practical aspects as well, of course. You've given me an idea for a post! I'll get back to you with what I'm learning about keeping plants inside, and which ones might be good to start with...stay tuned! Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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  3. I was much amazed to see Oxalis like this when I was in South Africa. I had thought everything would be more radically different. Of course, many things were.

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    1. Jordan, The photos of your trip to South Africa convinced me I have to go some day! It looked like another world to me. I'm sure in such a situation it would be like running into old friends to see a familiar plant. Some oxalis or another is probably everywhere!

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