Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis), 3 well-rooted plants in 7 cm square pots
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) a member of the pink family or Caryophyllaceae. produces clusters of sweetly scented pink flowers throughout the summer from July to September. It may be found growing in damp woodlands, roadside verges or in cottage gardens - or marking the site of old woollen mills. It has been around in Britain for centuries, but is probably a European or Asian import rather than being strictly native to this country.
The flowers of Soapwort are a good source of nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and moths and other pollinating insects.
As its name suggests, when boiled in water its leaves and roots produce a soap. This was once used in woollen mills for shrinking and thickening woven cloth and was often grown in the vicinity of such mills as a commercial crop,
It is still sometimes used today by conservators as a gentle cleanser for certain types of antique textiles and furniture.
The active ingredient is the saponins which are produced by many kind of plant, seemingly as a defence against invertebrates which are put off by having a mouth full of soap, but rarely in amounts as high as the 20 percent sometimes found in the roots of Soapwort. It is interesting to experiment with its cleaning uses, though safest to avoid using it on your face.
You are purchasing THREE well-rooted plants in 7 cm square pots that we have grown from seed. It can be propagated by seed or division.
Please note that our plants are sold purely for their biodiversity, educational and aesthetic value and should not be consumed unless you are absolutely certain of their safety.
Please note also that our nursery is located at Cupar, our St Andrews address being for correspondence only.
Ladyburn Plant Nursery has been registered, by the Scottish Government, as a Professional Operator who is authorised to issue plant passports. (These are now required for internet sales of all plants including native plants grown and sold within the UK, not just those for those shipped abroad, as previously). Registration Number GB-S 03473.