Today I was working diligently in the yard trying to catch up on the weeds. It seems that they continually out pace me. It was just a few weeks ago that I had cleaned up some of the beds and now the weeds are all back. While pulling countless clover I recalled how ironic it was that earlier in the season I had purchased some ornamental types and planted them.
A little background information on Clovers. There are two plants that go by clover. First, there is Oxalis, which is a member of the Oxalidaceae family. Then, there is Trifolium, which is in the Fabaceae family. Trifolium is a legume so it can take nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil through bacteria action on their roots, Oxalis can not. Both Oxalis and Trifolium often go by the common name Clover. Both have species that can be invasive and become a weed. Both have foliage that look very similar, it's the flower that makes it easy to distinguish the two apart. It all can be very confusing, but it's times like these that the botanical names are helpful.
The two ornamental Oxalis that I have pictured are Oxalis siliguosa 'Sunset Velvet' (top picture) and Oxalis regnellii atropupurea (bottom photo on the right). What a mouthful! Rated hardy to zone 8 (which is what I am) both have attractive uniquely coloured foliage. I paired them with Heuchera 'Peach Flambe' creating a tonal combination that I really like. O. regnellii is sometimes sold as a purple shamrock. Oxalis prefers moist soil in a shady or dappled light location. They really don't have any pests to speak of, and any difficulties usually come from cultural conditions. I'm hoping these will fill in nicely in a year or two, because these 2 cultivars are not know to be invasive let alone aggressive.
Here is an interesting link that shows O. regnellii growing. I hope you'll enjoy it.