This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial acaulescent herbs, with scaly bulbs. Leaves basal, few or many together, with the petioles dilated at the base, palmately 3-10-foliolate; leaflets notched at the apex, with short or elongated lobes, usually with orange tubercles in each sinus, commonly drooping. Scapes erect, solitary or clustered, usually topped by umbel-like cymes. Flowers perfect, heterogonous. Sepals 5, with tubercles at the apex. Petals 5, rose-purple, rose-violet or white, much longer than the sepals, commonly rounded at the apex. Stamens 10: filaments usually pubescent, united at the base. Capsule sometimes elongated, 5-celled. Seeds wrinkled, grooved or tubercled. [Greek, purple-oxalis.]
About 120 species, natives of North and South America, most abundant in continental tropical America. Type species: Ionoxalis violacea (L.) Small.
Oxalis violacea L. Sp. Pl. 434. 1753.
Ionoxalis violacea Small, Fl. SE. U. S. 665. 1903.
Perennial from a brownish bulb with ciliate scales, acaulescent, 4'-9' high, nearly or quite glabrous. Leaves generally 4-8, long and slender-petioled, about 1' wide; leaflets obcordate, minutely reticulated, the midrib sometimes sparingly hairy; scapes several, commonly exceeding the leaves, umbellately 3-12-flowered; pedicels slender; flowers 8"-10" long, heterogonous; sepals obtuse; petals rose-purple, rarely white, lighter toward the base, obtuse or truncate, 3 times as long as the sepals; capsule ovoid, 2" in diameter; cavities 2-3-seeded; seeds flattened, rugose-tuberculate.