by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Jun 2024      ()
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Oxalis pes-caprae   (Bermuda Buttercup)

Oxalis pes-caprae  (OXALIDACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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General Information Species Images
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Detailed species profile
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Profile Date Mar-2003 (taxon update: Mar-2003)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Oxalis pes-caprae - datasheet created on Mar-2003. Retrieved from on 24-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Oxalis pes-capraeL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 434 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Oxalis lybica Viv.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Oxalidaceae R. Br. (The WoodSorrel Family)
4 species from the Oxalidaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Bermuda Buttercup, Sour Sob, Cape Sorrel

Maltese name(s) :

Ħaxixa Ingliża, Qares

Status for Malta :

Invasive Alien. Species that was introduced in Malta any time after year 1492 (Columbus' discovery of the New World), and spreads rapidly to form large invasive populations to the detriment of native flora or ecosystems.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent    Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE ( bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc. )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

December – April

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Oxalis: sour, acidic, or acrid-tasting, referring to the sour taste of the sap due to the high level of Oxalic acid that is present in most species, especially in the stems, leaves and roots. (Greek origin )
pes-caprae: having the shape of a foot of a goat (pes = foot; capra = goat) alluding to the shape of the leaflets. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Cannot be planted in the wild (rural areas) since the species may be invasive (see ERA guidelines)

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Cultivated ground and other open habitats.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Waysides, Wasteland, damp places, valleys, field tracks, stony walls, garigue and several other habitats.
Botanical Description: Sparsely pubescent, caespitose perennial, with a deeply-buried bulb, which emits an annual, ascending, subterranean stem bearing bulbils and a rosette of leaves at soil level. Petioles up to 20 cm; leaflets 8-20 x 12-30 mm, obcordate, deeply emarginate. Flowers infundibuliform (sometimes flore pleno), in umbellate cymes; petals 20-25 mm, yellow. Capsule short, rarely formed.
Distributional range: Extensively naturalized in the Mediterranean region and W. Europe.
Native region outside Europe: (South Africa.)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Introduced in  the Balaeric Islands, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
[nAE AE(G) nAg nAl nAz(F G J L M P S T) Bl(I M N) nBr nCa Ca(C F G H L P T) nCo nCr aCs nCy nEg nGa(C F) Gg(A) nGr nHs Hs(G S) nIJ Ir nIt Jo nLi nLS nLu nMa nMd Md(M P) nSa nSi(M S) nSn nTn nTu(A)]

Links & Further literature (1 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Updates in the Flora of the Maltese Islands (Central Mediterranean) Stephen Mifsud  (2007)
Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (47 images)
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-0.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-1.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-2.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-3.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-4.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-5.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-6.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-7.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-8.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-9.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-10.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-11.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-12.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-13.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-14.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-15.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-16.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-17.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-18.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-19.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-20.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-21.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-22.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-23.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-24.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-25.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-26.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-27.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-28.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-29.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-30.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-31.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-32.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-33.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-34.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-35.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-36.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-37.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-38.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-39.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-40.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-41.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-42.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-43.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-44.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-45.
   Oxalis pes-caprae   -   Image Code: OXLPC-46.

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