My favorite question that I get from people when shopping for ground cover is “But is it invasive?” My response no matter what type of ground cover is “Why yes in fact it is.” Invasive is the definition of ground cover, it’s in the name; to cover the ground. While most ground covers are not actually invasive there are a couple to watch out for. These brutish ground covers, if planted in the wrong place, can and will take over and become difficult to eradicate.
One such plant like this is Oxalis oregana (Redwood Sorrel). This is a Pacific Northwest native with clover shaped leaves and either white or pink flowers. It grows with underground rhizomes and easily spreads with no discrimination. It is a gorgeous woodland ground cover and should be planted in such an area. Grandma’s cute flower bed that is perfectly designed is NOT the place.
Redwood Sorrel is for people who have large forested areas that want to dress it up a bit. The best thing about this plant is that you can stick it in the ground, water it in and walk away. In no time you will have a lush carpet of clover shaped leaves and beautiful flowers spring through summer. Plus, for the crunchier population, it is a true native plant and does actually belong here.
So is Redwood Sorrel a beauty or beast? I say both. Location is the key to success with any plant. If this is in the proper location, a woody area where it can spread out, it is a beauty. If you think the cute plant in a 4” pot should be in your uniform flower bed, it will quickly become a beast.