Weed of the Month – October 2015


(Oxalis pes-caprae)


(Photos: E. Cousins, patch of wasteland full of soursobs; leaf;  flower stem.)

We all know this one, don’t we? Originally introduced as a garden ornamental, soursobs certainly introduce a lot of bright yellow into the garden over winter/spring, with those prolific clusters of flowers…just a pity it is SO invasive!  A significant environmental weed in S.A., it seems to take over suburban gardens and wastelands for several months of the year. A rosette of heart-shaped leaves appear at ground level, followed by the flower stalk. It isn’t enough to rip the fleshy plant out. Underground, there is a tuber-like root, and bulbs and bulbils that persist from year to year, and from which the plant reproduces. You need to be persistent yourself to eradicate these weeds! Glyphosates can be used; grubbing out is difficult because the small bulbs can be left behind, or spread by the soil movement.