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Pale Pink Sorrel

Oxalis latifolia

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Oxalidaceae (Wood Sorrel)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Gardens, roadsides, wasteland, woodland.

Pink, 5 petals
Pink, stalked flowers. The flowers are smaller than the similar looking Pink-purple Sorrel (Oxalis debilis).
The fruit is a capsule.
A bulbous perennial plant with trefoil leaves. The stalked leaves have 3 heart-shaped leaflets. Leaves measure up to 4.5cm across. Similar to Pink-purple Sorrel (Oxalis debilis) but without any dark orange spots underneath the leaves.
Other Names:
Broadleaf Wood Sorrel, Broadleaf Yellow Oxalis, Broad-leaved Sorrel, False Shamrock, Fishtail Oxalis, Garden Pink Sorrel, Large-leaf Wood Sorrel, Pink Shamrock, Purple-flower Oxalis, Wood Sorrel.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Oxalis latifolia, also known as "broadleaf woodsorrel" or "broadleaf yellow oxalis," is a perennial herb that is native to North and South America. It is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of soil types and can tolerate shade and dry conditions. The plant has small yellow flowers and broad leaves that resemble clover. It is often found growing in woodlands, along roadsides, and in other disturbed areas. It is considered an invasive species in some regions and can be difficult to control. The plant is edible and has a tangy, lemony flavor and can be used to make a tea or added to salads and other dishes, however, due to its high oxalic acid content, it's best to consume it in moderation.


Pale Pink Sorrel, also known as Oxalis latifolia, is a beautiful perennial plant that is native to South America, but has become naturalized in many parts of the world. This plant is a member of the Oxalidaceae family, which includes over 800 species of plants.

One of the distinctive features of Pale Pink Sorrel is its leaves. The leaves are clover-like, with three heart-shaped leaflets that are a bright green color. The plant gets its common name, Pale Pink Sorrel, from the delicate pale pink flowers that bloom on tall stems above the foliage. These blooms usually appear in the late spring or early summer.

Pale Pink Sorrel is a popular ornamental plant that is well-suited to garden beds, borders, and containers. It is a relatively low-maintenance plant that is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and growing conditions, but it does best in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

In addition to its ornamental value, Pale Pink Sorrel has some medicinal uses. It has been traditionally used in South America to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, skin conditions, and fever. The plant contains oxalic acid, which gives it a tangy, slightly sour taste. This acid is believed to help stimulate digestion and aid in the absorption of nutrients.

Despite its many benefits, it's worth noting that Pale Pink Sorrel can also be considered an invasive plant in some areas. It has the ability to spread rapidly by producing large numbers of seeds and by producing new bulbs underground. As such, it's important to be mindful of the plant's growing habits and to avoid planting it in areas where it may become invasive.

Pale Pink Sorrel is a lovely and useful plant that is well-suited to a variety of growing conditions. Whether you're looking to add a pop of color to your garden, or are interested in exploring the plant's medicinal properties, Pale Pink Sorrel is definitely worth considering. Just be sure to plant it responsibly and avoid contributing to its invasive tendencies.

Pale Pink Sorrel is also known by a variety of other common names, including False Shamrock, Broadleaf Woodsorrel, and Pink Sorrel. It is often used as a groundcover or as an accent plant in rock gardens, as it is tolerant of both sun and shade.

The plant's leaves are edible and have a slightly sour taste. They can be used raw in salads or cooked in soups and stews. The leaves are also high in vitamin C, which makes them a nutritious addition to any meal.

In terms of cultivation, Pale Pink Sorrel can be propagated by seeds or by dividing mature plants. Seeds can be sown directly into the garden in the spring or fall, while mature plants can be divided in the fall or early spring. It's important to note that the plant can become invasive if not properly contained, so it's recommended to plant it in a designated area and to remove any seedlings that sprout outside of that area.

One of the interesting things about Pale Pink Sorrel is that it has a unique mechanism for closing its leaves in response to changes in light intensity. This is called "nyctinastic movement" and it helps to protect the plant from excess sun exposure. When the plant senses that light levels are too high, the leaves will fold up and the plant will enter a state of dormancy until the light levels return to normal.

Pale Pink Sorrel is a versatile and beautiful plant that has a lot to offer to gardeners and plant enthusiasts. Whether you're interested in its ornamental value, its medicinal properties, or its unique characteristics, there's a lot to appreciate about this lovely perennial.

One of the interesting things about Pale Pink Sorrel is that it has a symbiotic relationship with certain species of ants. The plant produces a nectar-like substance on its stems and leaves, which attracts ants. The ants, in turn, help to protect the plant from herbivores and other insects that may be harmful to it. The ants will defend the plant by attacking any pests that come near it, and in some cases, they will even move their colonies to be closer to the plant.

Another interesting fact about Pale Pink Sorrel is that it is a type of "sleep plant". Like many other plants, it undergoes a circadian rhythm that regulates its growth and development. However, unlike most plants, Pale Pink Sorrel's rhythm is governed by changes in temperature, rather than changes in light. The plant's leaves will close up at night, regardless of the amount of light that is present, and will reopen in the morning as the temperature rises.

Pale Pink Sorrel has also been used in traditional medicine in various parts of the world. For example, in South Africa, the plant has been used to treat fever, while in India, it has been used to treat skin conditions and dysentery. Some studies have even suggested that Pale Pink Sorrel may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, although further research is needed to confirm these findings.

In conclusion, Pale Pink Sorrel is a fascinating and versatile plant that has a lot to offer. From its ornamental value to its unique characteristics and medicinal properties, there are many reasons to appreciate this lovely perennial. Whether you're a gardener, a plant enthusiast, or simply someone who enjoys the beauty of the natural world, Pale Pink Sorrel is definitely worth getting to know.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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