Purple Oxalis

Oxalis regnellii

Purple-Leaf Shamrock; False Shamrock; Black Shamrock; Love Plant

About This Plant

Morning sun or dappled shade. Nearly evergreen… or ever-purple. Purple shamrock, or purple oxalis, is a pleasant clover-like plant with distinctive three-lobed leaves that could have been designed by a visionary garden gnome. It’s great for providing those spots of purple color that really stand out against the lustrous dark greens of central Texas shade. White blooms appear in winter. A bulb-type plant, purple oxalis expands around the garden from small nodules. It tends to stay close to moisture — in fact it sometimes disappears completely in summer, returning in autumn. Unlike “purple heart” setcreasia and some of its own pink oxalis relatives, it doesn’t run wild in the watersaver garden.

Origins: South America, Brazil to Argentina


No particular maintenance is required. Oxalis spread by corms (think bulbs) and can be dug up or even passed along without too much trouble. Although some oxalis species can be very aggressive in the garden, Oxalis regnellii is considered a very mild-mannered member of the clan.

A carefree groundcover for lush color in the shaded landscape.

Min. Height: 6'

Max Height: 12 inches'

Min. Width: 6'

Max Width: 12 inches'

Share This Plant Page: