Oxalis are a type of plant native to South America. They are commonly known as the potato orchid because their leaves look similar to those of the potato plant. The name comes from the Spanish word for potato, “oca”.
Oxalis plants are often found growing wild in tropical areas. They are also cultivated for food and medicine. There are many types of oxalis that have been developed over time. Some types are edible while others are not.
Oxalis are used medicinally for treating colds and flu-like symptoms.
They contain vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, calcium, sodium, iodine, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, thiamine, vitamin D, choline, biotin, pyridoxine, and nicotinamide.
Oxalis are sometimes called “potato” or “orchid” flowers. These names come from the resemblance of the leaves to those of the potato.
Oxalis are grown commercially for use as a vegetable. They are eaten raw or cooked. They can be added to salads, soups, stews, stir fries, and other dishes.
What Are The Different Types Of Oxalis?
There are three main types of oxalis:
• Oxalis acutifolia is a perennial herb with long, narrow leaves up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide. It has white flowers on stems up to 6 feet (2 m) tall. This species grows in wet places such as marshes, swamps, and bogs.
• Oxalis corniculata is an annual herb with small, hairy leaves. Its flowers are yellowish green. It grows in dry places like deserts, fields, roadsides, and waste areas.
• Oxalis oreophila is a perennial herb with large, heart-shaped leaves. It has pinkish purple flowers. It grows in moist habitats such as ditches, ponds, streams, and lakes.
What Other Types Of Oxalis Are There?
There are several other types of oxalis. Many people call all these types by the same name, but there are actually some differences between them.
• Oxalis acetosella is a perennial herb with thick, leathery leaves. It has white flowers. It grows in damp places such as riverbanks, stream banks, and wetlands.
• Oxalis albicans is a perennial herb with oval, pointed leaves. It has white, red, or orange flowers. It grows in wet places such as boggy soils, swamps, and marshes.
• Oxalis ciliaris is a perennial herb with round, hairy leaves. It has white or pale blue flowers. It grows in swampy areas near water.
• Oxalis flava is a perennial herb with broad, oblong, smooth leaves. It has white to light pink flowers. It grows in marshy areas near water. It is also sold under the common name “yellow lady’s slipper.”
• Oxalis latiloba is a perennial herb with triangular, toothed leaves. It has white petals and yellow centers. It grows in wet areas such as swamps, marshes, and bogs. It is also known as “common oxalis.”
• Oxalis montana is a perennial herb with rounded, hairy leaves. It usually has white flowers. It is native to Europe and Asia. It grows in wetland areas.
• Oxalis stricta is a perennial herb with short, stiff hairs. It has white flowers and dark green leaves. It grows in wetter areas such as swamps and marshes.
How Do You Grow Oxalis Plants?
You can grow oxalis plants from seed. To do this, you will need to sow the seeds directly into your garden soil. Then keep them watered until they sprout.
When the first true leaf appears, transplant the plant to its permanent location.
You can also buy young oxalis plants at nurseries. For best results, choose one that is about 1 foot (30 cm) high. Plant it in full sun in well-drained soil. Water regularly until it starts growing roots.
After 3 months, thin out the plants so that only two or three remain.
Oxalis plants are very easy to grow. However, if you live in a cold area, you may want to protect them during winter. If you have trouble keeping your oxalis alive through the winter, try planting it in a container.
The container should be placed outdoors during the summer. In the fall, bring it indoors and set it in a sunny window. Keep it warm and give it plenty of water.
Oxalis are popular for their beautiful flowers. They make great cut flowers. Use them to decorate bouquets, wreaths, and centerpieces. Or place them on tables, windowsills, or porches.
The Benefits Of Growing Oxalis Plants
• Oxalis plants attract butterflies, bees, birds, and moths.
• They add beauty to any landscape.
• Oxalis plants are drought tolerant.
• They are low maintenance.
• They require little care.
• They provide food for wildlife.
• They are good for pollinators.
• They are attractive to hummingbirds.
• They are an excellent source of nectar.
• They are easy to grow.
What Can Oxalis Be Used For?
Useful Facts About Oxalis:
• Oxalis plants produce edible fruits called pods. These pods contain tiny black seeds. Oxalis seeds are used to make flour.
• Oxalis leaves are rich in vitamin C.
• Oxalis root tea is said to help reduce fever and inflammation.
• Oxalis juice is used to treat sore throats.
• Oxalis flower oil is used to relieve pain and promote healing.
• Oxalis latex contains opiates that can cause respiratory depression.
• Oxalis sap is used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and other gastrointestinal ailments.
• Oxalis stems are used to make rope.
• Oxalis flowers are used to dye cloth.
• Oxalis roots are used to make soap.
• Oxalis roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
• Oxalis pollen is used to make bread.
• Oxalis tubers are eaten like potatoes.
• Oxalis bulbs are used as ornamental plants.
What Type Of Oxalis Can Be Grown Indoors?
Oxalis plants are hardy perennials. They prefer moist soils but tolerate dry conditions. They can survive temperatures down to 0 °F (-18 °C).
To keep oxalis plants healthy, use these tips:
• Give them bright light.
• Provide ample moisture.
• Avoid over watering.
• Fertilize every 2 weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
How To Grow Oxalis Plants Indoors
1. Choose a pot large enough to accommodate your plant when fully grown.
2. Fill the pot halfway with peat moss.
3. Add some perlite.
4. Place the plant in the pot.
5. Water the plant thoroughly.
6. Keep the plant out of direct sunlight.
7. When the weather warms up, move the plant outside.
8. Give your plant extra water until it starts growing again.
9. Continue fertilizing the plant regularly.
10. Once the plant has recovered from its transplanting, repot it into a larger pot.
11. Repeat steps 1-10 until your plant grows big and strong.
12. Move your plant to a sunny spot where it will get plenty of sun.
13. Water the plant regularly.
14. Feed the plant once a month with a high quality fertilizer.
15. If you want to harvest your own oxalis pods, wait until the plant reaches about 3 feet tall.
16. Cut off the top third of the plant.
17. Remove the bottom two thirds of the stem.
18. Use scissors to cut the pod open.
19. Pick out any remaining seeds and discard them.
20. Enjoy your fresh oxalis pods!
21. Store your harvested pods in a cool place for several days before eating them.
22. You can also freeze your oxalis
What Type Of Oxalis Can Be Grown Outdoors?
Oxalis plants can thrive in many types of soil. They prefer well drained soil, but they can tolerate poor drainage.
They don’t like extreme heat or direct sunlight, so you should plant your oxalis in an appropriate area.
You can grow oxalis outdoors all year long if you live in a mild climate. In colder climates, you may need to bring your plant inside during winter months.
To conclude, there are many types of oxalis that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. The most common varieties of oxalis are oxalis alba, oxalis latifolia, and oxalis violacea.
There are many uses for oxalis plants including food, medicine, and decoration. Oxalis plants should avoid direct sunlight because this could damage their leaves.
An oxalis plant takes approximately 4 years to mature. You should grow your oxalis plant within soil that has a pH of 6.0 or lower.
Your plant needs regular feeding and watering. It is best to give your plant adequate amounts of nutrients and water at least twice a week.
You can also enjoy your fresh oxalis pods after harvesting them. These tasty treats are delicious raw or cooked. Some common dishes that include oxalis are stir-fry, soup, salad, and ice cream.
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