Creeping Woodsorrel

    Oxalis corniculata

    Creeping Woodsorrel

    Creeping woodsorrel (Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California,

    Creeping Woodsorrel

    Creeping woodsorrel fruit (Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California,



    • creeping plant with 4-inch-tall hairy stems (although stems can grow to as long as 20 inches)
    • leaves are often purplish and stalks are tipped with three heart-shaped leaflets; leaflets have hairy undersides
    • leaves fold down on stems at night or when plants are stressed
    • stem tips have one to five bright yellow flowers with five petals each; flowers are shaped like a shallow bowl
    • flowers produce ribbed lantern-shaped seedpods that are long, green and hairy


    • commonly grows in lawn areas and planting beds

    Life Cycle

    • perennial that germinates at soil surface when temperatures are between 60-80°F
    • seedlings grow vigorously and plants produce flowers and seeds throughout the remainder of the growing season; mature seeds are immediately viable

    IPM Recommendations

    • Hand-pull plants in planting beds prior to seed maturation.
    • Shallow tillage or hoeing will control young plants in planting beds.
    • Apply a mulch layer 3 inches deep on planting beds to reduce seed germination.
    • Apply an appropriate pre-emergent herbicide prior to seed germination or apply an appropriate post-emergent herbicide directly to target weeds.