Gooseberry (Oxalis acetosella)

The Oxalis acetosella, also known as Hallelujah and Sheep sorrel is a plant long – term part of the family of Oxalidaceae. It is native to Europe, specifically Iceland and Spain and also from the central part of Asia.

It measures about three inches high by about 12 inches wide. The Oxalis uses cleistogamia, Diptera and amphophilic to pollinate their flowers, which are equipped with reproductive organs hermaphrodites.


This species can be found in those soils with high humus content, beech forests, oak forests and humid areas over two thousand meters high. It is very rare to find them in the Mediterranean area. Its leaves have petioles that can measure 15 centimeters. The shape is usually a little webbed, very similar to clovers, with leaflets of between 10 to 30 millimeters somewhat emarginate.

As for its flowers, they have a shape similar to that of a calyx and their color usually varies between lilac, white or pink with some striations. The peduncles measure five or 10 centimeters.

The calyx is composed of five lanceolate sepals, somewhat membranous, which are attached to the base, they are about five millimeters long. The corolla is made up of five petals of 8 to 15 millimeters of white color, while its nerves have purple or lilac tones. The androecium is composed of about 10 stamens together with yellow anthers. The gynoecium has only one ovary crowned in turn by five styles. Flowering occurs in the spring season.

On the other hand, its fruit has a shape very similar to an ovoid and angular capsule, measuring about 10 millimeters. When they reach full maturity, an opening is created due to certain longitudinal sutures and their small seeds are ejected as if they were projectiles with just the slightest friction.


This species is widely used in the field of medicine, as it serves as “spring cures” using them for the detoxification of the entire body. This is mainly due to its great properties as a diuretic and depurative, since they oxygenate the blood and also get rid of waste from it.

Likewise, it is used to make infusions that help fight conditions such as fever, being also very refreshing, perfect for lowering the temperature and relieving thirst. On the other hand, and in addition to its good medicinal uses, it also serves to remove stains from clothing and as a base ingredient for the production of ointments that are used to clean metals, such as copper.

Oxalis acetosella care and cultures

The Oxalis acetosella are simple crop plants development fairly quickly. It is advisable to plant them at the end of the fall or winter seasons. Its reproduction is carried out by means of seeds and also by plant division. It needs acidic soils for optimal growth, however they can do well in common soils. In case of planting them in the garden, the ideal would be to mix the soil with a third of sand. They require constant but not excessive watering.

This plant requires good exposure to sunlight or at least to have very good lighting. It is very important to avoid exposure to temperatures that are below 5 ° C, they can also tolerate cold temperatures but they are not continuous.

When preparing the soil for planting, it is essential to pay them using compost and also add a fertilizer, preferably mineral and monthly from mid-spring and also mid-autumn. These species do not need to undergo pruning, however it is essential to prevent them from spreading more than they should, since they are usually a bit invasive plants. The Oxalis acetosella is a very hardy plant, both pests and diseases, so they do not require specific care for these cases.

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