Cadmium (Cd) was shown to co-localise with calcium (Ca) in oxalate crystals in the stems and leaves of Cd tolerant Gomphrena claussenii, but Cd binding remained unresolved. Using synchrotron radiation X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy we demonstrate that in oxalate crystals of hydroponically grown G. claussenii the vast majority of Cd is bound to oxygen ligands in oxalate crystals (>88%; Cd-O-C coordination) and the remaining Cd is bound to sulphur ligands (Cd-S-C coordination). Cadmium binding to oxalate does not depend on the amount of Ca supplied or from which organs the crystals originate (stems and mature leaves). By contrast, roots contain no oxalate crystals and therein Cd is bound predominantly by S ligands. The potential to remove Cd by extraction of Cd-rich oxalate crystals from plant material should be tested in phytoextraction or phytomining strategies.