Blue Oxalis Parochetus communis subsp. africanus

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
shamrock pea


Parochetus communis subsp. africanus, commonly known as Blue Oxalis or Shamrock Pea, is a charming perennial herb that is frequently praised for its ornamental qualities. The plant is characterized by a lush mat of rich green, trifoliate leaves, resembling the three-leafed shape of a shamrock or clover. These leaves are attached to slender stems that sprawl and weave to create a dense, low-growing ground cover. The leaves of the Blue Oxalis can have a slightly hairy texture, adding a softness to the plant's appearance. The star attraction of this variety, however, is the vibrant blooms it produces. The flowers are striking, with a beautiful deep blue or purplish hue that commands attention. They typically boast a standard pea-flower shape with a banner, wings, and keel, akin to miniature sweet pea flowers. The blossoms are often highlighted with a brighter or lighter blue marking and a white center, creating a delightful contrast against the green foliage. Blooming predominantly in the warmer months, the Blue Oxalis offers a generous display of color, with the potential for multiple flowerings throughout the season. Even when not in bloom, the appealing foliage provides a verdant backdrop for other plants in a garden setting. The overall appearance of Blue Oxalis is one of delicate charm and vibrant color, making it a favorite choice for gardeners looking to add a touch of whimsy and flair to their outdoor spaces.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      African Shamrock, Blue Oxalis, African Parochetus

    • Common names

      Parochetus africanus, Parochetus major, Parochetus communis var. major.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant in question, commonly known as Blue Oxalis, does not have a well-documented profile of toxicity to humans. There is limited information on its poisonous properties, and it is not commonly listed as a toxic plant in reputable databases. However, as with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities could exist, and it is generally advisable to avoid ingesting plants that are not specifically known to be edible. If any part of the plant is ingested and adverse symptoms are experienced, medical attention should be sought.

    • To pets

      Like with humans, Blue Oxalis is not widely recognized for its toxicity to pets. There is a lack of substantial evidence regarding its potential poisonous effects if ingested by animals such as dogs or cats. Pet owners should remain cautious and prevent pets from consuming plants that are not known to be safe. If a pet does ingest Blue Oxalis and exhibits symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or unusual behavior, a veterinarian should be consulted promptly.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Spread

      18 inches (45 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Blue Oxalis adds a splash of color to gardens with its vibrant blue flowers, making it a popular choice for decorative purposes.
    • Ground Cover: It can serve as an effective ground cover due to its low-growing habit, controlling soil erosion and suppressing weed growth.
    • Hardy Nature: This subspecies is resilient and can thrive in a variety of soil types, which makes it suitable for different landscapes and gardens.
    • Bee-Friendly: The flowers of Blue Oxalis attract bees and other pollinators, supporting local ecosystems and biodiversity.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, Blue Oxalis requires minimal care compared to other garden plants, saving time and effort for gardeners.
    • Edible Parts: Although excluding medical properties, some parts of the plant are considered edible and can be used in culinary applications.
    • Adaptability: Blue Oxalis can adapt to both shaded and sunlit areas, providing flexibility in garden design and plant placement.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Parochetus communis subsp. africanus, commonly known as Blue Oxalis, can be used as a food dye due to its vibrant blue flowers, offering a natural coloring option for culinary purposes.
    • The plant's fibrous stems and leaves are sometimes used in the making of traditional crafts and textiles among indigenous communities.
    • Blue Oxalis is often utilized in water features and ponds for its ability to grow in moist conditions, adding aesthetic value with its floating foliage.
    • In frost-free regions, Blue Oxalis can serve as an evergreen ground cover, providing an attractive and low-maintenance carpeting effect in gardens.
    • The plant's nodding blue flowers can be used in floral arrangements as a symbol of serenity and tranquility, often featured in stress-relief and meditation spaces.
    • Because of its creeping habit, Blue Oxalis can be used for erosion control on slopes or riverbanks, helping to stabilize soil and prevent landslides.
    • Blue Oxalis leaves can be used for educational purposes, such as teaching children about plant structure and botany in an outdoor learning environment.
    • The plant's ability to thrive in the shade makes it ideal for creating natural green roofs or living walls, where light conditions are limited.
    • In aquarium settings, Blue Oxalis can be adapted as an aquatic plant to enhance underwater landscaping and provide habitat for small fish and invertebrates.
    • Photographers and artists may use the delicate and distinctive flowers of Blue Oxalis as subjects in botanical photography and nature-inspired artwork.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Blue Oxalis is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Blue Oxalis is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Rarity: Known as Blue Oxalis, Parochetus communis subsp. africanus is uncommon and not widely known, symbolizing uniqueness and the value of rarity.
    • Adaptability: Blue Oxalis can grow in various conditions, symbolizing flexibility and the ability to thrive in different environments.
    • Delicate Beauty: With its delicate blue flowers, the Blue Oxalis symbolizes fine and subtle beauty that is not ostentatious.
    • Growth: As a plant that spreads across the ground, it represents growth and expansion in a subtle yet persistent manner.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Blue Oxalis should be watered regularly to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water approximately every week with about 16-24 ounces, depending on the size of the pot and the environmental conditions. Reduce watering in the winter when plant growth naturally slows down. Always check the top inch of soil for dryness before watering again.

  • sunLight

    The Blue Oxalis thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. A spot that receives filtered light through a sheer curtain would be ideal, avoiding prolonged exposure to direct afternoon sun which can scorch the leaves.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Blue Oxalis prefers temperatures between 60°F and 75°F. It can tolerate a minimum temperature of around 50°F and should not be exposed to temperatures below that as it may cause damage to the plant. Avoid placing it in areas with cold drafts or near heating vents where temperatures fluctuate significantly.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is essential for the Blue Oxalis to maintain its shape and encourage bushier growth. Trim back any leggy or overgrown stems, preferably in the spring or early summer. Pruning can be done every few months or as needed to remove dead or yellowing leaves.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Blue shamrock prefers a soil mix rich in organic matter with good drainage. The best soil mix for blue shamrock (Parochetus communis subsp. africanus) would consist of a combination of peat, perlite, and compost in equal parts to ensure moisture retention and aeration. A slightly acidic to neutral pH range, between 6.0 and 7.0, is ideal for this plant's growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Blue shamrock (Parochetus communis subsp. africanus) does not require frequent repotting. It should generally be repotted every two to three years to replenish nutrients and accommodate growth, or when noticeably outgrown its pot.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Blue shamrock (Parochetus communis subsp. africanus) flourishes in moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 50% and 70%. Consistent high humidity mimics its native tropical environment and supports its lush growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place blue shamrock in bright, indirect light indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Grow blue shamrock in dappled shade outdoors.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of the Parochetus communis subsp. africanus, commonly known as Blue Oxalis or Shamrock Pea, begins with seed germination, typically occurring during warm and moist conditions. Following germination, seedlings develop a primary root system and foliage as they transition into the vegetative growth stage. As the plant matures, it forms a rosette of trifoliate leaves and, given the right conditions of light and temperature, progresses to the flowering stage, producing vibrant blue to violet flowers with a general pea-like shape. After pollination, the flowers develop into pods containing seeds, completing the reproductive stage. Once the pods mature, they dehisce, releasing seeds into the surrounding environment to begin the next generation. Throughout its life, Blue Oxalis remains a perennial herb, which can regrow from its rootstock after dormant periods or when favorable conditions return.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to summer

    • Parochetus communis subsp. africanus, commonly known as Blue Oxalis or Blue Lotus Flower, can be propagated effectively through division, which is a highly popular method for this particular plant. In spring or early summer, when the plant is actively growing, clumps of the Blue Oxalis can be gently dug up and carefully separated into smaller sections. Each section should have a good amount of roots attached. These individual sections can then be replanted into moist soil where they will quickly establish themselves and begin to grow. This process allows for a rapid increase in the number of plants and helps to rejuvenate older clumps that might be declining in vigor. Division ensures that the new plants will be identical to the parent plant, which is often desirable for maintaining specific garden designs or floral characteristics.