Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Oxalis bowiei Herb. ex Lindl.

Frost-hardy clump-forming, bulbous perennial with large, long-stalked leaves composed of 3 rounded, shallowly-notched leaflets, rather thick and leathery, hairy and often purplish beneath, and loose, umbel-like cymes of 3-12, funnel-shaped, deep rose-pink flowers with yellow-green tubes.  To 25cm.  Late summer and autumn flowering in Australia.  [RHSE, Hortus, Beadle].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It is not very generally known that this succeeds well as a bedding plant.  It produces its beautiful rose-coloured flowers in great profusion until destroyed by frost in autumn; and when planted in contrast with others of gay colours I have always found it to be greatly admired.’  [Gard. Chron. 1856].  ‘This most beautiful and florid plant is hardy, and in the open ground will flower in the autumn; but it blossoms most profusely when kept in a pot under glass, especially after a short period of rest at midsummer.’  [BR f.1585/1833].  ‘In the London Horticultural Society garden there has been a bed of this pretty plant in profuse bloom, producing a charming display.’  [FC p.291/1849].  Introduced to Britain in 1823.  [JD].  LBC no.1782/1833.  FC p.97/1833.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues under the name Oxalis Boweriana [B.365/1843].  Naturalised in the Camden Park garden where it forms beautiful large drifts at the edge of shrubberies in the house garden.  It can be an invasive weed.  It is probable that most of the Oxalis species grown in the gardens were obtained from Loddiges’ nursery, a major supplier to Camden Park, before 1843.  Most of them are figured in Conrad Loddiges’ Botanical Cabinet.  Exceptions are Oxalis rosea, known to have arrived on the ‘Sovereign’ in 1831, and the later introductions Oxalis elegans, obtained from Veitch’s nursery, and Oxalis lupinifolia.


Published Feb 17, 2009 - 05:03 PM | Last updated Jan 27, 2010 - 03:01 PM

Illustrated are the large, fleshy, 3-lobed leaves and the large bright pink flowers.  Loddiges' Botanical Cabinet no.1782, 1833.

Oxalis bowiei Herb. ex Lindl. | LBC no.1782/1833 | RBGS

Family Oxalidaceae
Region of origin

South Africa

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Oxalis Boweriana 

Confidence level high