I have recently been sorting books to put them in bookcases I've inherited from my daughter and among them there's one called "The House Plant Expert" by Dr DG. Hessayon. It is of course intended for use in the UK where it was published in 1980. I bought it as I'd always hoped to grow house plants and some of the plants in this book are those available here.
The book had been put away for years because I realised I was just not meant to grow plants in my home even though I've had success in our garden over the years. I even have garden plants that self propagate such as weeping peppermint, duranta, lavender, cotoneaster and the like so no problems. Indoor plants? No!
Having found the book again I was browsing through it and amusing myself smiling at the number of plants which we in Australia take for granted can be grown out of doors. These included several species of eucalyptus and even Norfolk Island Pine. It was recommended that these be discarded after several years as they tend to grow rather large. Yes, you could certainly say that.
I do love this book as the illustrations are a delight and the descriptions of plants, their care, and various diseases are well set out. Each section even has "Secrets of Success" and "Special Problems" so I am sure most people would find, if they followed the instructions, they would have some wonderful indoor plants growing.
It was when I came to page 92 that I saw the heading OXALIS!!! Now in our garden oxalis is a dreadful weed that takes a lot of getting rid of. Oh yes, it is an attractive plant with pretty pink or purplish flowers but it has these little tubers that break off when you pull the main plant from the ground resulting in lots more oxalis the following season. You don't even always know it's there until those little pink flowers show themselves!!
Oxalis has been included in the "Jumping the Garden fence" report (WWF-Australia PDF-1.19mb) which examines the impact of invasive garden plants on Australian agricultural land and natural ecosystems. It is a serious weed in this country.
I guess it is safe to grow indoors in pots but I hope anyone overseas that does so never thinks they'll just tip them out into the garden when they are finished or they could end up with the problem we have here unless of course they wouldn't grow in a cold climate.
I will still enjoy going through this book as much as ever and am wondering why over the years that I'd never noticed oxalis was included.