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Sun Shamrocks and Alleluia Flowers

Articles: Sun Shamrocks and Alleluia Flowers

The overlapping flower petals spiral to a point when the flower closes at night and on cloudy days, but they unfurl quickly on bright days, even in shade.
Rob Proctor, Naturalizing Bulbs

It wasn’t much of a lawn, that ragged piece of turf that functioned as such in my first California garden some thirty years ago; it was well populated by a lot of plants that were not grasses. Flowering with pink or, less often, white upturned bells, one plant persisted no matter how many times it was shorn to the ground by the mower. Too attractive to be merely a weed, I began to dig up the roots and use the plants as edgings, Southern California’s answer to the London pride and cottage pinks of my mother’s English garden.

Evergreen and with ten months of bloom, it continues to make a splashy edging plant. The flowers are small but come in such profusion that they more than earn the space given to them. Though rarely more than nine inches tall, if it does get overblown, shearing back soon restores its tidiness. Eventually, at The Arboretum of Los Angeles County in Arcadia, I found a clump of it labeled Oxalis crassipes. The name now seems to have gone from the plant manuals, replaced by O. ...

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