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Oxalis montana (Mountain woodsorrel)
Cressler, Alan

Oxalis montana

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.


From the Image Gallery

7 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Flower scapes up to about 6 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: 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 Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)


Use 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

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

USDA: Find Oxalis montana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Oxalis montana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Oxalis montana


Record Modified: 2023-04-26
Research By: TWC Staff

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