Oxalis pes-caprae - Bermuda Buttercup

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Oxalidales - Family: Oxalidaceae

Oxalis pes-caprae - Bermuda Buttercup

This plant, a native of South Africa, has spread widely around the world. Introduced to Malta in the 1800s, Bermuda Buttercup has spread into the Mediterranean region, and become an unwelcome resident that is virtually impossible to eradicate. It covers wasteground, roadside verges and farmland. It is impervious to most modern herbicides, and farmers in the Mediterranean region have no choice but to plough it into the ground before sowing their crops, but as the plant produces bulbs, this practice only serves to aid the plant in its domination of the land.

Oxalis pes-caprae - Bermuda Buttercup, closeup of flowers

Bermuda Buttercup carpets the ground from December through until the end of May throughout the Algarve and makes a dazzling display in the sunshine but, the moment the sun goes in, the flowers close. It is a member of the Sorrel (Oxalidaceae) family of plants. From time to time plants with double flowers can be found - the buds and flowers of such plants are often tinged with a copper colour.

A double flower from Bermuda Buttercup

The copper-tinged double flowers of Bermuda Buttercup

The specimens shown on this page were photographed in the Algarve in December.

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