Oxalis ‘Black Velvet’

False shamrock


Oxalis ‘Black Velvet’ is a captivating perennial celebrated for its deep burgundy foliage reminiscent of black velvet. This compact plant, reaching 10-50cm in height and with a similar spread, is ideal for borders, rock gardens, or containers. Thriving in partial shade to full sun and well-drained soil, it requires minimal maintenance. Once established, it’s drought-tolerant but benefits from regular watering during dry spells and occasional deadheading for continuous blooms.

Delicate pink flowers add to its ornamental appeal. Oxalis ‘Black Velvet’ enhances any garden with its rich colour and texture, making it a sought-after choice for landscape design. Hardy in milder parts of the country, it will benefit from a thick mulch before the first frost.


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Origin: Cultivar of horticultural origin
Genus: Oxalis
Species / Cultivar: 'Black Velvet'
Common Name: False shamrock

Plant Biography

Oxalis triangularis, commonly known as the purple shamrock or false shamrock, is native to many different regions of South America. The plant belongs to the Oxalidaceae family and is renowned for its trifoliate leaves and attractive purple colouration. Historically, it was introduced to Europe in the 19th century as an ornamental plant and has since become popular worldwide for its unique appearance and ease of cultivation.

Despite its name, Oxalis triangularis is not a true shamrock but shares similar characteristics. Its botanical history reflects its journey from its native habitat to becoming a beloved houseplant and garden ornamental across different continents. Many new and interesting cultivars are available, demonstrating various forms of variegation.

Oxalis 'Black Velvet'
Soil: Moist but Well Drained
Soil that allows water to drain at a moderate rate, without the water pooling.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Part Shade
Enjoys direct sun most of the day, but tolerant of fewer sunlit hours or light dappling.
Eventual Height: 0.1-0.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.1-0.5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Half Hardy
Will need protection from frosts in order to survive winter, eg. with fleece jacket.
Habit: Deciduous
Sheds all its foliage annually, so for a period of the year it will be without foliage.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Oxalis ‘Black Velvet’ is a low-maintenance perennial reaching up to 50cm in height and spread. Ideal for borders, rock gardens, or containers, it thrives in partial shade to full sun and well-drained soil. Once established, it’s drought-tolerant, but benefits from regular watering during dry spells and occasional deadheading for continuous blooms.

This compact plant boasts deep burgundy foliage resembling black velvet, complemented by delicate pink flowers that add to its ornamental appeal. With its rich colour and texture, Oxalis ‘Black Velvet’ brings a touch of dark beauty to any garden landscape.


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