Proper name: Oxalis deppei 'Iron Cross'. An edible wild plant that has been consumed by humans around the world for millennia. In Dr. James Duke's Handbook of Edible Weeds, he notes that the Kiowa Indian tribe chewed wood sorrel to alleviate thirst on long trips, that the Potawatomi Indians cooked it with sugar to make a dessert, the Algonquin Indians considered it an aphrodisiac. The leaves contain oxalic acid (whose name references the genus), giving the leaves and flowers a sour taste which Oxalis deppei 'Iron Cross' - flowers carmine; dark cross shape near center of its four leaves.
These non-invasive natives of South Africa and South America produce mostly 5 petaled flowers on 3, sometimes 4 leafed plants that make wonderful mounds in our garden from June-October. They're particularly wonderful in partial shade, but don't seem fussy about being in full sun even during our hot, can make them refreshing to chew.
Pink Blooms; Green Foliage with Maroon Banding
Blooms in the Summer and Fall
Mature Height: 10-12 inches. Prefers the sun.
Hardy in zones 7-10, elsewhere dig and store in the winter.