Four-leafed clovers have long been considered lucky, but there are lots of reasons why the oxalis genus (containing 800 of the 900 wood-sorrel species) is one I’m fond of. Wood-sorrel has been eaten by many Native American cultures such as the Iroquois and the Potawatomi for various remedies (or just cooked with sugar for a dessert), and the roots of some species can be cooked and eaten, as well.
As ornamental plants, Oxalis triangularis is a cultivar enjoyed by many under the name “love plant,” “false shamrock,” and “purple shamrock.” It is a perennial that requires bright sunlight with a cool temperature, though it can survive the heat, and gives tiny light purple flowers.
I noticed my favorite part about it after drawing my Oxalis a couple of times for the zine – when I first drew it, the shape of the leaves seemed different to when I drew it at another time. After observing my Oxalis for a few days when I got home from work and when I woke up in the morning, I noticed that its leaves open and close in response to sunlight! At night, it would fold them downwards, making almost a cone shape, or like a butterfly hanging upside-down with its wings closed. In the morning, its leaves reached out wide open, like a pinwheel or a windmill.
I love having plants in my house, as I’ve mentioned – they keep the air fresh, they make me feel calm, and they raise my spirits. Is there a plant that makes you especially happy? I would love to add to my collection, and doing a plant swap is on my list of dreamy activities!