Known as

The Daily Telegraph - Gardening - - Readers’ Letters -

a pretty pink-flow­ered gar­den plant, hap­pi­est in neu­tral to acid soil.

Nei­ther this nor the two pink-flow­ered bul­bous “sham­rocks” of­ten bought as sum­mer or­na­men­tals, ‘Iron Cross’ (top), which has red leaf mark­ings, and deep pur­ple-leaved is in­va­sive.

The sham­rock/ox­alis most uni­ver­sally loathed by gar­den­ers is in­fa­mous for its frag­ile win­ter-dor­mant bulbs that crum­ble if dis­turbed in late sum­mer/au­tumn, the soil-coloured bul­bils spread­ing far and wide.

Re­moval is only pos­si­ble, us­ing fin­ger and thumb and a kitchen fork, be­fore midsummer when the bulbs are green. There is an equally ir­ri­tat­ing creep­ing yel­low ox­alis ( and an­other yel­low-flow­ered one with red­dish leaves, Both have ex­plo­sive seed heads. They could all be loosely de­scribed as “sham­rock”.

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