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(Oxalis or Wood Sorrel family)


875 species in three genera are mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions.

[Summary yet to be added]

Oxalis L.

800 species are of cosmopolitan distribution. Several species have become troublesome weeds. The tubers of Oxalis tetraphylla Cav. (syn. Oxalis deppei Lodd.) and other species are used as food.

The sap of most members of the family is sour from the presence of oxalic acid or its potassium salt (Corner 1952). Oxalic acid is a strong irritant (Greenberg and Lester 1954).

Oxalis corniculata L.
[syns Acetosella repens Kuntze, Oxalis repens Thunb., Xanthoxalis repens Moldenke]
Creeping Wood Sorrel

The sap has escharotic properties and is used to remove corns (Quisumbing 1951).


  • Corner EJH (1952) Wayside Trees of Malaya, 2nd edn, Vol. 1. Singapore: V.C.G. Gatrell, Government Printer [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
  • Greenberg LA, Lester D (1954) Handbook of Cosmetic Materials. Their properties, uses, and toxic and dermatologic actions. With a bibliography of over 2,500 titles. New York: Interscience Publishers [doi] [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
  • Quisumbing E (1951) Medicinal Plants of the Philippines. Technical Bulletin 16, Philippines Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Manila, Philippine Islands: Manila Bureau of Printing [WorldCat] [url]

Richard J. Schmidt

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