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Saponaria officinalis L.
Family Caryophyllaceae
Common name: Soapwort, Bouncing Bet

Saponaria officinalis L. APNI*

Description: Robust perennial herb with stout branching rhizomes with long stolons and erect or ascending flowering stems, simple or branched above; either glabrous or with sparse multicellular hairs, never with glandular hairs.

Leaves elliptic to ovate, 2.5–10 cm long, 6–30 mm wide, lower surface covered with minute vesicles, conspicuously 3-veined; sessile.

Inflorescence terminal, condensed with 6–25 flowers; pedicels 3–6 mm long. Calyx 17–20 mm long, 2-lipped, ovoid in fruit. Limb of petals c. 10 mm long, white or pink.

Capsule oblong-ovoid, teeth reflexed at apices.


Photo © ANBG

Flowering: winter or spring.

Distribution and occurrence: Common weed of waste ground. Native of Eur.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *CWS
Other Australian states: *Vic. *Tas.
AVH map***

Text by A. Doust
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 (1990)


APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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