Yellow woodsorrel

Oxalis stricta L.

Life cycle

Low-growing annual or simple perennial.

yellow woodsorrel plant
Yellow woodsorrel plant.


Cotyledons are rounded to oblong. Gray-green leaves are alternate, compound and clover-like, with three heart-shaped leaflets that attach at the pointed ends. Long-stalked leaves have smooth surfaces, but they are fringed with hair along the margins.

yellow woodsorrel leaf
Yellow woodsorrel leaf.


Low-growing, prostrate to erect stems with minimal branching at the base, up to 20 inches tall. Plants spread by long, slender rhizomes.

Flowers and fruit

Yellow flowers with five petals are found in long-stalked clusters. Fruit are ridged, hairy, cylinder-shaped capsules with pointed tips that range from 0.5 to 1 inch in length. The capsules explosively eject small seeds with a sticky coating up to several feet away. Seeds are mostly brown, ridged, oval and flattened.

yellow woodsorrel
Yellow woodsorrel fruit.


Seeds and rhizomes.

Similar weeds

Creeping woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata L.) Differs by having a more prostrate growth, lack of rhizomes, presence of aggressive stolons and foliage often more purplish green.

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