6 gen., mainly trop. and subtrop., particularly America

Oxalis L.

20 species in Aust. (6 native, c. 12 naturalized); all states and territories

Herbs with compound, usually 3-foliolate, leaves; leaflets palmate at the top of the petiole and folded downwards in repose; stipules absent, Flowers solitary or in umbels on axillary or basal peduncles, bisexual, regular. Pedicels with 2 bracts at the base. Sepals 5, imbricate. Petals 5, free, contorted. Stamens 10, hypogynous; filaments different lengths. Ovary 5-locular, superior; placentas axile. Fruit a loculicidal capsule; valves persistent on the axis. Seeds with a fleshy aril which shrinks on drying and expels the seed explosively. Stems and leaves with an acid taste.