Plant: perennial herb; BULBS 0.8-2 cm long, often with up to 20 bulblets Leaves: 4-30 cm tall; leaflets 3, 4-27 mm long, 4-38 mm wide INFLORESCENCE: 1-7-flowered; pedicels less than 5 cm long Flowers: perfect, the petals clawed, connate at base; stamens 10; pistil 5-carpelled; styles 5; corollas blue, lavender, pink, or white, to 27 mm long Fruit: FRUITS ellipsoid, 5-12 mm longfleshy explosive capsules; SEEDS arillate, 1-1.5 mm long Misc: Open, moist, often rocky places in deciduous, pine-oak, or coniferous forests; 1700-3200 m (5000-9600 ft); Jul-Sep REFERENCES: Denton, Melinda. 1998 Oxalidaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 30(2): 115.
Ornduff and Denton 1998, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous perennial with creeping, thick and woody rootstocks, caulescent or acaulescent, the sap acidic, scapes 10-20 cm tall. Leaves: Digitately compound with 3 leaflets, wedge-shaped, sparsely to copiously strigose, the leaves 4-30 cm. Flowers: Blue, white, purple or pink, perfect, regular, to 27 mm long, with 5 petals, the petals clawed, connate at the base, sepals 5, stamens 10, the filaments united at the base, unequal, with 5 longer than the other Fruits: Capsules ellipsoid, 5-12 mm long, dehiscent, 5-celled. Ecology: Found moist soils in open or rocky areas in deciduous, pine-oak, or coniferous forests, from 5,000-9,500 ft (1524-2896 m); flowering July-September. Notes: The easiest key to this species is the 3 leaflets, differentiating it from the similarly colored Oxalis decaphylla, which has 5-12 leaflets. Much more minor characteristics of the seeds distinguish it from other similar species, necessitating a collection. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Oxalis is from Greek oxys for sharp, sour, while alpina means alpine. Synonyms: Many, see Tropicos Editor: LCrumbacher, 2011