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OXALIS

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Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 401 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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OXALIS, in botany, a large genus of small herbaceous plants, comprising, with a few small allied genera, the natural order Oxalidaceae. The name is derived from Gr. 6Evs, acid, the plants being acid from presence of acid calcium oxalate. It contains about 220 species, chiefly South African and tropical and South American. It is represented in Britain by the wood-sorrel, a small stemless plant with radical trefoil-like leaves growing from a creeping scaly rootstock, and the flowers borne singly on an axillary stalk; the flowers are regular with five sepals, five obovate, white, purple-veined, free petals, ten stamens and a central five-lobed, five-celled ovary with five free styles. The fruit is a capsule, splitting by valves; the seeds have a fleshy coat, which curls back elastically, ejecting the true seed. The leaves, as in the other species of the genus, show a " sleep-movement," becoming pendulous at night. Oxalis crenata, Oca of the South Americans, is a tuberous-rooted half-hardy perennial, native of Peru. Its tubers are comparatively small, and somewhat acid; but if they be exposed in the sun from six to ten days they become sweet and floury. In the climate of England they can only be grown by starting them in heat in March, and planting out in June in a light soil and warm situation. They grow freely enough, but few tubers are formed, and these of small size. The fleshy stalks, which have the acid flavour of the family, may, however, be used in the same way as rhubarb for tarts. The leaves may be eaten in salads. It is easily propagated by cuttings of the stems or by means of sets like the potato. Oxalis Deppei or O. tetraphylla, a bulbous erennial, native ofP Mexico, has scaly bulbs, from which are produced fleshy, tapering, white, semi-transparent roots, about 4 in. in length and 3 to 4 in. in diameter. They strike down into the soil, which should therefore be made light and rich with abundance of decayed vegetable matter. The bulbs should be planted about the end of April, 6 in. apart, in rows t ft. asun-;in~~ ,der, being only just covered with Wood-sorrel (Oxalis Acetosella). t, Fruit soil and having a which has split open; the seeds are shot out by situation with a the elastic contractions of their outer coat, s. southern aspect. The roots should be dug up before they become affected by frost, but if protected they will continue to increase in size till November. When taken up the bulbs should be stored ip a cool dry place for replanting and the roots for use. The roots are gently boiled with salt and water, peeled and eaten like asparagus with melted butter and the yolks of eggs, or served up like salsafy and scorzone.ra with white sauce. Many other species are known in cultivation for edgings, rockwork or as pot-plants for the greenhouse, the best hardy and half-hardy kinds being O. arenaria, purple; O. Bowiei, crimson; O. enneaphylla, white or pale rose; O. floribunda, rose; O. lasiandra, pink; 0. luteola, creamy yellow; O. variabilis, purple, white, red; and 0. violacea, violet. 0XAZOLES, a group of organic compounds containing a ring complex (shown below) composed of three carbon atoms, and one oxygen and one nitrogen atom; they are isomeric with the isoxazoles (q.v.). They are obtained by condensing a halogen derivatives of ketones with acid-amides (M. Lewy, Ber. 1887, 20, p. 2576; 1888, 21, p. 2195) R•C 0, CHI2•CH2 )0, CH2 —CH2 O, CH2—CH2 oxazole oxazoline amino-oxazoline oxazolidines. The benzoxazoles are formed when ortho-aminophenols are condensed with organic acids (A. Ladenburg, Ber. 1876, 9, p. 1524; 1877, to, p. 1113), or by heating aldehydes and ortho-aminophenols to high temperature (G. Mazza.ra and A. Leonardi, Gazz. 1871, 21, p. 251). They are mostly crystalline solids which distil unchanged. When warmed with acids they split into their components. They behave as weak bases. By the condensation of ortho-aminophenols with phosgene or thiophosgene, oxy and thio-derivatives are obtained, the (OH) and (SH) groups being situated in the µ position, and these compounds on treatment with amines yield amino derivatives. 0%E, PEDER (1520—1575), Danish Finance Minister, was born in 1520. At the age of twelve he was sent abroad to complete his education, and resided at the principal universities of Germany, Holland, France, Italy and Switzerland for seventeen years. On his return he found both his parents dead, and was appointed the guardian of his eleven young brothers and sisters, in which capacity, profiting by the spoliation of the church, he accumulated immense riches. His extraordinary financial abilities and pronounced political capacity soon found ample scope in public life. In 1552 he was raised to the dignity of Rigsraad (councillor of state); in 1554 he successfully accomplished his first diplomatic mission, by adjusting the differences between the elector of Saxony and the margrave of Brandenburg. The same year he held the post of governor of Copenhagen and shared with Byrge Trolle the control of the treasury. A few years later he incurred the royal disfavour for gross malversation in the administration of public property, and failing to compromise matters with the king, fled to Germany and engaged in political intrigues with the adventurer Wilhelm von Grumbach (1503—1567) for the purpose of dethroning Frederick II. in favour of Christina of Lorraine, the daughter of Christian II. But the financial difficulties of Frederick II. during the stress of the Scandinavian Seven Years' War compelled him, in 1566, to recall the great financier, when his confiscated estates were restored to him and he was reinstated in all his offices and dignities. A change for the better immediately ensued. The finances were speedily put on an excellent footing, means were provided for carrying on the war to a successful issue (one of the chief expedients being the raising of the Sound tolls) and on the conclusion of peace Oxe, as lord treasurer, not only reduced the national debt considerably, but redeemed a large portion of the alienated crown-lands. He reformed the coinage, developed trade and commerce and introduced numerous agricultural reforms, especially on his own estates, which he was never weary of enlarging, so that on his death he was the wealthiest land-owner in Denmark. Oxe died on the 24th of October 1575, after contributing, more than any other statesman of his day, to raise Denmark for a brief period to the rank of a great power. See P. Oxe's live og levnet (Copenhagen, 1675) ; Danmarks riges historie, vol. 3 (Copenhagen, 1897-1905). 0XENBRIDGE, JOHN (1608-1674), English Nonconformist divine, was born at Daventry, Northamptonshire, on the 3oth of January 1608, and was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and Magdalen Hall, Oxford (B.A. 1628, M.A. 1631). As tutor of Magdalen Hall he drew up a new code of articles referring to the government of the college. He was deprived of his office in May 1634, and began to preach, with a similar disregard for constituted authority. After his voyages to the Bermudas he returned to England (1641), and after exercising an itinerant and unattached ministry settled for some months in Great Yarmouth and then at Beverley. He was minister at Berwick-on-Tweed when in October 1652 he was appointed a fellow of Eton College. There in 1658 he preached the funeral 0 sermon of Francis Rous, the provost, and thence in 166o he was ejected. He returned to his preaching at Berwick-on-Tweed, but was expelled by the Act of Uniformity in 1662, and after spending some time in the West Indies settled (167o) at Boston, Massachusetts, where he was ordained minister of the First Church. He died on the 28th of December 1674. A few sermons are all that he published. His first wife (d. 1658) was " a scholar beyond what was usual in her sex," and Andrew Marvell, who was their friend, wrote an epitaph for her tomb at Eton which was defaced at the Restoration; his second wife (d. 1659) was Frances Woodward, daughter of the famous vicar of Bray; his third was a widow whom he met at Barbados.
End of Article: OXALIS
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