Sweden wildflowers: Wood-sorrel

Oxalis acetosella, SE: Harsyra, DE: Wald-Sauerklee,
NL: Witte klaverzuring, UK: Wood-sorrel

Scientific name:  Oxalis acetosella L.
Swedish name:  Harsyra, gökmat, harväppling, surklöver
German name:  Wald-Sauerklee
Nederlandse naam:  Witte klaverzuring
English name:  Wood-sorrel
Plant Family:  Oxalidaceae, Harsyreväxter

Oxalis acetosella L., SE: Harsyra, DE: Wald-Sauerklee, NL: Witte klaverzuring, UK: Wood-sorrel

Life form:  Rhizome geophytes
Stems:  Underground creeping stem, lacking a permanent woody stem, no aerial stem
Leaves:  Heart-shaped leaves folded through the middle, in groups of three leaves atop a hairy, reddish brown stalk; three-nerved, the leaf-stalks not winged
Flowers:  Thin white petals with red veins
Flowering Period:  May, June
Fruits:  Capsule divided into five chambers, with two black, smooth seeds in each chamber; When the capsule is mature it is stretched, and this causes it to split open and eject the seeds, by a catapult motion, to some distance.
Habitat:  All types of woodlands

Vilda blommor i Sverige - Bloemen in Zweden


Derivation of the botanical name:
Oxalis, Greek oxys, acid, sour, sharp; referring to the taste of the leaves and the stem; Pliny used Latin oxalis, idis, for some species of Rumex.
Acetosella, Latin acetosus, acid, sour, refers to the leaves sour taste; a pre Linnaean name for common sorrel and other plants with acid leaves.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.

Oxalis acetosella, Harsyra, Wald-Sauerklee, Witte klaverzuring, Wood-sorrel