Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Barrelier's woodsorrel (515)

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  • Widespread. In Australia, American Samoa, FSM, Fiji, French Polynesia, Palau, Samoa.
  • Occasional, perennial weed, in disturbed habitats – forest clearings, along roadsides. Favours well-drained, light sandy and medium loam soils. Weed of coconut, taro and sugarcane plantations, pastures. Tolerates light shade.
  • Stems up to 1.5m, densely hairy at base, often woody. Leaves, alternate, each with long stalks (up to 10cm), three, oval to spear-shaped leaflets (central leaflet largest), and hairy beneath. Flower stems from leaf axils, often branching into two, bearing several tubular flowers on short stalks, with white, pink or purplish petals and bright greenish-yellow centres. Fruits egg-shaped (10mm long).
  • Spread: seed in water and by ants. Plant trade: used as an ornamental and in traditional medicines.
  • Biosecurity: risk is unofficial introduction of seed and plants. Check imported machinery/vehicles.
  • Biocontrol: none.
  • Cultural control: hand-weed; slashing; mulch (5-10cm) to prevent seedling growth; clean soil and seeds from machinery/vehicles.
  • Chemical control: In Fiji, glyphosate, 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPA
Common Name

Barrelier's woodsorrel. It is also known as French trèfle, lavender sorrel.

Scientific Name

Oxalis barrelieri; previously, it was known as Oxalis bahiensis. It is a member of the Oxalidaceae.

AUTHORS Grahame Jackson & Makereta Ranadi
Information from Oxalis barrelieri L. Plants of the world online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (; and Oxalis barrelieri L., Oxalidaceae. Pacific island ecosystems at risk (PIER). (; and Fern K (2021) Oxalis barrelieri L. Oxalidaceae. Tropical Plants Database. (; and from Smith A (1981) Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji. 2nd ed. Fiji: Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Photo 2 Aris riyanto (2020). ( Photo 3 O.M. Montiel (2021) TROPICOS.( Photos 1,4&5 Christian Moliné (2012) Oxalis barrelieri - Mataso (Fiji). (

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland, in association with the Pacific Community and Koronivia Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji.

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