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Oxalis montana Raf.
Mountain Woodsorrel, Northern Wood Sorrel
Oxalidaceae (Wood-Sorrel Family)
Synonym(s): Oxalis acetosella, Oxalis acetosella ssp. montana, Oxalis acetosella var. rhodantha
USDA Symbol: OXMO
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)
A low-growing plant with clover-like foliage and several white or pink flowers, with only 1 flower per stalk.
This dainty flower of the mountains and cool, moist woodland glens is especially common in New England and westward to the lake states. It is difficult to grow in gardens. Flowers that fail to open are produced at the base of the plant on curved stems.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Flower scapes up to about 6 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: CT , GA , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Newfoundland and Nova Scotia; south to central and western New England; west to Pennsylvania and in the mountains to North Carolina and Tennessee; west to Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Manitoba.
Native Habitat: Rich, damp woods.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
BenefitUse Food: EDIBLE PARTS: Small amounts of leaves, flowers, seeds, tubers/roots eaten raw are not dangerous. Gather stems and leaves during early spring through fall. Tender stems and leaves can be steeped in hot water. Use liquid as a sour lemonade-type drink. For tea, use a handful of leaves per pint of water. Add to salads for a lemony taste. Cook with greens to enhance mild flavors. Remove stems if too stringy. Use flowers raw in salads or as cooked greens. Add young seed pods to salads or cook with the leaves and stems. Clean tubers and roots and eat raw or cooked with the greens, seeds, and flowers.
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Low toxicity if ingested (no documented cases in humans). Symptoms in grazing animals, when eaten in large quantities, may cause trembling, cramps, and staggering as in grazing animals. Toxic Principle: Soluble oxalate. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Oxalis montana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Oxalis montana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Oxalis montana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-04-26
Research By: TWC Staff