Oxalis triangularis
Oxalis triangularis
Oxalis triangularis

Oxalis triangularis


Purple shamrock (Oxalis triangularis), also known as false shamrock, is one of the uncommon plants with nearly black foliage. In reality, its foliage is a very deep purple color. The leaves are triangular and typically grow in groups of three. At night (or on particularly cloudy days) they fold up almost like an umbrella, but they open again with the morning light. The plant bears tiny flowers that are a white to pale pink or lavender color. Purple shamrock is best planted in the spring and functions well as a houseplant.

The key to a healthy plant is providing it with a sunny spot and watering it whenever the soil starts to dry out. Also, plan to feed your shamrock throughout its growing season to encourage healthy growth.

It’s important to note that purple shamrock plants actively grow and flower during the fall to spring and go dormant in the summer. This might not happen every year, especially for houseplants, but it’s a possibility that requires some different care. When they are dormant, the foliage will degrade. If you see this occur, reduce watering and stop feeding your plant. As soon as you see new foliage begin to grow, resume your plant’s normal care routine.

Indoors, the plant should be grown by a window that receives bright light. Regularly rotate the pot, so all sides of the plant end up facing the light and growing evenly. Too little light can cause the plant to become weak and leggy.