American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. See oxalis.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A plant of the genus Oxalis. The common wood-sorrel is O. Acetoaella. This is a low stemless species, found in damp deep shade through the north temperate zone. Its peduncles bear single delicate flowers, the petals white with light-reddish veins. It has the old or local names alleluia, cuckoo-bread, stubwort, etc., and it is regarded by some as the original Irish shamrock. The violet wood-sorrel, O. violacea, is a similar somewhat smaller American plant with violet petals, growing in less shaded ground. (See cut under
Oxalis.) O. corniculata, the yellow wood-sorrel, having slender leafy branching stems which are erect or procumbent, with small yellow flowers, grows nearly everywhere. The leaves in this genus contain oxalic acid, and have a sourish taste. Several Mexican and South American species yield edible tuberous roots. (See ocaand arracacha.) Several exotic species are cultivated in greenhouses, as O. purpurata, var. Bowiei, with abundant flowers of a deep rose-color, O. flava with yellow flowers, and O. versicolor with flowers exhibiting a pink exterior when closed, white within, opening only in sunshine: these are all from the Cape of Good Hope.
- n. A white-flowered woodland plant, Oxalis acetosella.
- n. Any of several other species of the genus Oxalis.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) any plant of the genus Oxalis.
- n. (Bot.) a plant of the genus Oxalis (Oxalis Acetosella), having an acid taste. See
Illust.(a) of Shamrock.
- n. any plant or flower of the genus Oxalis
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