Bouncing Bet - Soapwort
Saponaria officinalis
Caryophyllaceae (Pink) Family

Plant is an upright, smooth perennial that forms colonies. Preferred habitat is roadsides, fields, waste sites and yards. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are opposite on the stem; no leaf stalks; widest at the middle or lance-like; no teeth and no lobes. Leaf tip tapers to the end with sides less than equal; base graduates to a narrow point.

Flowers are in terminal clusters; bisexual; symmetrical in form; five sepals, five petals; rotate like a wheel; white or pink with ten stamens. Flowering occurs in the summer.

Fruit is a capsule.

This plant is a native of Europe. A soapy lather forms when the plant is mixed with water. It is reported to be poisonous. This phlox-like plant is spread by underground stems. Bouncing Bet is an old-fashioned nickname for a washer woman.

Previous Page

Return to Index

Next Page