Can you id these tubers?

fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)September 10, 2011

I guess that they are tubers- they look familiar to me somehow. I was rustling spider lilies in the middle of an vacant lot when I dug them up and these came with them. Just a vacant lot in an older run down neighborhood. Certainly somebodies yard long ago- from the 30's, 40's. I thought they looked somewhat like caladiums so I pulled one of mine up to compare- not a match. Nothing but bermuda grass there. The "roots" are very wirery nothing like caladiums. You can see in the pic a leaf or shoot sprouting- looks like a leaf to me. That would mean a dicot not an irid or lily I guess. Someones long ago flower bed. It's not something like a Jerusalem artichoke is it! Anyhow I will plant them and see what happens.

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Well, they look suspiciously like the tubers (or rhizomes, whatever botanically they might be) of my pink oxalis, O. tetraphylla.

If those new shoots turn into "4 leaved clovers" with a dark splosh in the center, that's what you've got.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 8:23PM
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Now there's a challenge! The "tubers" seem to be stacked vertically (new ones forming on top of old ones), which strikes me as being more like corms than tubers.

That makes me think monocot... arum is probably the right direction.

Perhaps it is a close relative of caladium?

It appears to be summer-dormant, and to be producing new shoots in fall, so how many arums do that? Arum Italicum is one that does, but I think the roots are much smaller.

Seems like it's already growing so I'd love to see how the leaves look in just a couple weeks when they mature.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 10:09PM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

Thanks everyone for looking at them. I will post back when they have grown. I potted them up and now just the wait- Love a mystery find! Should be quick I think. Hope it's something good.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 5:00PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

I second the Oxalis proposal.

And, if it is - a pot is the safest place for them... :-(((

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 2:42AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

Here they are- these don't seem to be the same that I fight in the flower beds. They have small corms and little bulblets all around the bottom. I rip them out buy the handfuls. Scott Ogden in his book bulbs for the south seems to indicate that Oxalis crassipes has a thick starchy tuber with potato-like bublets on it. I've never seen that in my beds. Could this be it?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 3:31PM
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Well, it's not O. tetraphylla, which has 4 leaflets per leaf, and is generally also variegated with a splash of purple-burgundy towards the center of the leaf.

Looks a lot more like Oxalis purpurea Grand Duchess Lavender to me. This one has 3 leaflets and the flowers look right to me. However, if the photo color is skewed on my screen or in your photos, it could be Grand Duchess Pink -- there really isn't that much difference in color between the two, the lavender is a pink-lavender, and the pink is a pepto bismol pink shade.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 8:02PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Do not let it loose in the garden...

But I say that about any/all Oxalis ;-))))

You will probably need to repot annually as they bulk up rapidly. Some are right at home in full sun and others prefer light shade/woodland. You look to have conditions 'just right' for that species.

Love that blue-green in the leaves. Very attractive.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 4:41AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I have Oxalis that makes little pink flowers and has corms that look just like those in your picture. I don't know why people don't like these. I sift through sod when I dig it up to make sure I don't toss any of these, which I did a lot of this year. I put them all around the "front" of my beds. Can't wait to see how they look next spring!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 11:59AM
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