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Common Soapwort

Saponaria officinalis

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Caryophyllales
Family:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Type:
Flower
Maximum Size:
90 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Farmland, gardens, hedgerows, meadows, roadsides, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Pink, 5 petals
 
The flowers are normally a soft pink but can sometimes be white. Petals can be notched or have ragged tips. Double flowered forms occasionally occur. The flowers open in the evening and are pollinated by butterflies and moths. 10 stamens. 2 styles. Double-flowered forms (known as 'Bouncing Bett') are fairly common.
Fruit:
A 4-parted capsule. The seeds ripen in August and September.
Leaves:
Leafy branches with opposite, entire leaves. The leaves are sometimes tinged red. A perennial which grows in patches.
Aroma:
The flowers have sweet fragrance.
Other Names:
Boston Pink, Bouncing Bett, Bouncing-bet, Bruisewort, Chimney Pink, Crow Soap, Devil in a Bush, Farewell to Summer, Flop Top, Fuller's Herb, Jill-run-by-the-street, Lady-by-the-gate, London Pride, Mock Gilliflower, Old Maid's Pink, Old Maid's Slipper, Sheepweed, Soap Plant, Soap Root, Soapweed, Soapwort Gentian, Sweet Betty, Wild Sweet William, Wood Phlox, World's Wonder.
Frequency (UK):
Common  
Similar Species:
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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