Saponaria officinalis

Photo Courtesy of K. Hubeny

Common Name(s) Soapwort, Bouncing-bet, Crow Soap, Soapweed
Scientific Name Saponaria officinalis
Family Caryophllales
Location/Vegetative Zone Thicket
Flowering Period May-September
Identifying Characteristics purple and white flowers, sweet smell, red-tinged stems without branches

Description

  • Leafy, unbranched stems with opposite leaves
    • leaves are between 4 and 12 cm long
    • grows in patches
  • Purple, sometimes white flowers  that emit a sweet smelling nectar
  • Found in the thicket
  • Distributed across North America

Cultural Uses

  • Can be used as a strong soap
    • Especially useful for delicate fabrics
    • A natural soap and shampoo, but NOT in excess!
  • The Pennsylvania Dutch used it to make the foamy head on beer

Misc

  • Self-pollinates
    • Visited by bumblebees and hoverflies

Sources

Seward, Marc. “Benefits and Uses of Soapwort”. Healthy Focus. 8 April 2017. Web.

Bergeron, Karen and Deb Jackson. “Soapwort”. Altnature. Web.

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