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Saponaria officinalis ‘Rosea Plena’ (photo courtesy of Trevor Sims/Garden World Images)
Saponaria officinalis ‘Rosea Plena’ (photo courtesy of Trevor Sims/Garden World Images)

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Zone
Zones 1-11, 14-24
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Saponaria officinalis

Soapwort, Bouncing Bet
Caryophyllaceae
Perennials, Flowers

SAPONARIA

Strong-growing European natives, closely related to Lychnis and Silene, just need full sun and well-draining soil to prosper. S. officinalis can be weedy.

Saponaria officinalis

Grows to 2 ft. high, spreading by underground runners. Elliptical to ovate, dark green leaves. Loose clusters of inch-wide summer flowers in red, pink, or white. Roots crushed in water produce a detergent-like lather. This is a tough plant that has naturalized in much of the West; before herbicides, it grew along railroad rights-of-way. ‘Rosea Plena’, with double light pink flowers, is the common garden form. ‘Rubra Plena’ has crimson blooms that pale as they age.

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