This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “40 Plants You (Probably) Have Never Heard of – But Will Love,” 40 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region but hard to find.
Purple leaf false shamrock
Oxalis triangularis ssp. papilonacea ‘Atropurpurea’
Size: Clumps to one foot high and wide.
Bloom season: Pale pink nearly white flowers in summer.
Exposure: Full shade.
Pruning needs: None.
Water needs: Medium; once established, water deeply once a week.
Snap shot: There’s nothing Irish about this pseudo shamrock, but you’ll be tickled pink by how this beautiful foliage plant thrives in dry shade. Purple leaf false shamrock is actually a perennial native to Brazil with beautiful two-toned purple foliage. In our area, it can be grown outside, although it will be completely deciduous in the winter and re-sprout in early summer. The pale pink, almost white flowers emerge in summer, but are not nearly as showy as the foliage.
For more on “40 Plants,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.