Oxalis, is the name of a large group of plants that grow chiefly in South Africa and South America. There are about 850 species of oxalis. Many species grow as weeds. However, some species are cultivated as ornamental plants and are grown in hanging baskets, window gardens, or rock gardens.
Most kinds of oxalis grow from bulbs, from root like rhizomes, or from thickened underground stems called tubers. They have showy flowers that may be white or a variety of pastel colors. The leaves are shaped somewhat like clover leaves. Both the leaves and flowers close up at night the leaves taste sour because they an oxalis has clover-shaped leaves and colorful blossoms. The leaves and the flowers close up at night contain oxalic acid. The acid is so named because it comes from the oxalis plant the leaves of some kinds of oxalis can be used in salads. One species of oxalis is cultivated in South America for its edible tubers. Scientific classification. Oxalis belongs to the wood sorrel family, Oxalidaceae. They make up the genus Oxalis.