bouncingbet USDA PLANTS Symbol: SAOF4
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Forbs/Herbs
Saponaria officinalis L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Caryophyllales: Caryophyllaceae
Synonym(s): soapwort
Native Range: Europe, Asia ()

Appearance
Saponaria officinalis is a vespertine flower, and a common perennial plant from the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae).
Foliage
The plants possesses leafy, unbranched stems (often tinged with red). It grows in patches, attaining a height of 27.6 in. (70 cm). The broad, lanceolate, sessile leaves are opposite and between 1.6-4.7 in. (4-12 cm) long.
Flowers
Its sweetly scented flowers are radially symmetrical and pink, or sometimes white. Each of the five flat petals have two small scales in the throat of the corolla. They are about 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide. They are arranged in dense, terminal clusters on the main stem and its branches. In the northern hemisphere it blooms from May to September, and in the southern hemisphere October to March.
Fruit
Fruits are capsules that are elliptical, and 0.39-0.47 in. (10-12 mm) long.
Ecological Threat
Saponaria officinalis has widely naturalized and sometimes becomes a troublesome weed. It may persist for years about abandoned home sites and invades waste places, stream sides, fields and roadsides. Because of its saponin content, the species can be poisonous upon ingestion.

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Infestation;
Michael Shephard, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s); close-up of single flower cluster
Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service (retired), Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); close-up of flower stalks
Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service (retired), Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
John Cardina, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
John Cardina, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Pedro Tenorio-Lezama, , Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); Pretty flowers
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Antietam National Battlefield (Maryland)
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (Maryland, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia)
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (West Virginia)
Rocky Mountains National Park (Colorado)



Invasive Listing Sources:
California Invasive Plant Council
City of Ann Arbor Michigan Parks and Recreation
Faith Campbell, 1998
Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Native Plant Society of Oregon, 2008