- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
A recent visit to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden found honey bees making a...yes...beeline...for the pink oxalis (Oxalis herta), a native of South Africa.
Some folks consider oxalis, especially yellow oxalis, a "weed." Indeed, "oxalis management" is a key topic at park conferences, at garden club meetings and over backyard fences.
Now a weed is simply an unwanted plant in a particular place. It may be a "nuisance" because it crowds out desirable plants, steals the limited soil nutrients, spreads diseases, or doesn't meet someone's strict aesthetic requirements or expectations.
To a honey bee, however, there's no distinction. Oxalis, aka wood sorrel, beckons them, unfolding an aromatic welcome mat, and the bees buzz in.
End product: food for the hive, and a sweetener for us humans.