Wood Sorrel

Scientific name: Oxalis stricta

From what I’ve read, this one is native. I’ve found that it’s not nearly as aggressive as the non-native white clover, and is relatively easy to remove (so I had be careful when pulling non-natives around it).

Once I better understood the difference between wood sorrel and the white clover, I pulled up as much white clover as I could as it was starting to crowd out native plants.

Here’s why you should pull up your white clover:

There is a false benefit to having white clover – it does a good job at turning nitrogen into something other plants can use in the soil (a known “nitrogen fixer” for your lawn) – I say “false benefit” because this type of nitrogen fixing can only benefit non-native plant species, and is actually not very advantageous for those of us who wish to maintain a native garden. If you place the appropriate native plant in the appropriate location, you should never have to fertilize them for success. Fertilization is for plants that don’t belong and wouldn’t otherwise succeed in locations that they are placed (non-native species such as most turf-grasses).

Another potentially false benefit to white clover is the pollination factor. It does appear that bees and other pollinating insects go for the little white flowers, however, it’s debatable that the insect life would benefit more from white clover flowers than from a native species that they have had time to evolve with over the many thousands of years.


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