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Quillaja saponaria
Quillaja saponaria

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

Quillaja saponaria

Soapbark Tree
Rosaceae
Evergreen, Trees

From Chile. Grows 30 to 45 ft. (occasionally to 60 ft.) tall, half as wide. Young trees are dense columns foliaged right down to 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 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.

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