Size: 1-2 feet high
Other Names: Bouncing Bet
Saponaria officinalis

Soapwort can be found along roadsides, in ditches, and other waste areas. Soapwort has a single, unbranched stalk with pairs of leaves along its length. The Leaves are elliptical and have veins running down the middle. The leaves wrap around the stem so that it appears to be passing through them. Large, pink flowers are attached to the stems above the highest pairs of leaves.

Soapwort contains saponins. They are natural soaps, and can easily be used instead of soap. But, just like you wouldn't think of eating the soap in your bathroom, you don't want to eat this either. If the plant is eaten severe irritation of the digestive system results.

Sources:
Hall, Alan. The Wild Food Trail Guide. Holt, Rhinehart, and Winston. 1945.

Soap"wort` (?), n. Bot.

A common plant (Saponaria officinalis) of the Pink family; -- so called because its bruised leaves, when agitated in water, produce a lather like that from soap. Called also Bouncing Bet.

 

© Webster 1913.

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