Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Quillaja saponaria
Quillaja saponaria

Click to Enlarge

Zones 8, 9, 14-24
Full Sun
Regular Water

Quillaja saponaria

Soapbark Tree
Evergreen, Trees

From Chile. Grows to 30–45 ft. (occasionally to 60 ft.) tall and half as wide. Young trees are dense columns foliaged right down to the ground, with pendulous branches; they give the general effect of a narrow, bushy, weeping coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia). Older trees develop a broader, flatter-looking crown; their branchlets are less pendulous than those of the young plants. Shiny green, leathery, 2-in. leaves are oval and pointed to nearly round. White, 1/2-in.-wide spring flowers are followed by handsome, inch-wide, brown fruit that opens into a star shape. Tends toward multiple trunks and excessive bushiness but responds quickly to pruning. Fairly tolerant of various soils. Drought tolerant but does better with periodic soakings; accepts lawn watering. Good narrow screening tree, tall hedge. The bark contains saponin, a lather-producing chemical; it is used in parts of Chile for washing and cleaning.

You Might Also Like...


There are some 250 species of penstemon. Most are native to the West, ranging from Canada into Mexico;...

Hymenosporum flavum

This graceful, upright Australian native grows naturally as a tree to 12–40 ft. tall and 9&ndash...

Aloe x nobilis

Dark green leaves edged with small hooked teeth grow in rosettes to 1 ft. wide and high; suckers freel...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More