Scientific Name Synonyms
- Saponaria officinalis is a vespertine flower, and a common perennial plant from the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae).
- The plants possesses leafy, unbranched stems (often tinged with red). It grows in patches, attaining a height of 27.6 in. (70 cm). The broad, lanceolate, sessile leaves are opposite and between 1.6-4.7 in. (4-12 cm) long.
- Its sweetly scented flowers are radially symmetrical and pink, or sometimes white. Each of the five flat petals have two small scales in the throat of the corolla. They are about 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide. They are arranged in dense, terminal clusters on the main stem and its branches. In the northern hemisphere it blooms from May to September, and in the southern hemisphere October to March.
- Fruits are capsules that are elliptical, and 0.39-0.47 in. (10-12 mm) long.
- Ecological Threat
- Saponaria officinalis has widely naturalized and sometimes becomes a troublesome weed. It may persist for years about abandoned home sites and invades waste places, stream sides, fields and roadsides. Because of its saponin content, the species can be poisonous upon ingestion.
- Colorado Department of Agriculture, Conservation Services Division
- University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Natural Heritage Program
- University of California, Jepson Flora Project
- Flora of North America, www.eFloras.org
- Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
- California Invasive Plant Council
- USDA NRCS PLANTS
- USDA ARS GRIN
Images from Bugwood.org