The plant contains saponins
. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
There are no edible uses listed for Saponaria ocymoides.
All parts of the plant are rich in saponins and can be used as a soap substitute
. The saponins are extracted by simmering the plant in water. Plants can be dried for later use
. A gentle and effective cleaner
Plants make a good carpeting ground cover when spaced about 60cm apart each way
There are no medicinal uses listed for Saponaria ocymoides.
Seed - best if given a short cold stratification. Sow autumn or late winter in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates within 4 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, it can be successfully done at any time in the growing season if the plants are kept moist until they are re-established. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Saponaria ocymoides. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Requires a gritty well-drained sunny dry position on a wall or the edge of a border creeping over a path
. Grows well in sandy and dry soils
. Prefers a moisture-retentive soil
. Prefers a lime-free soil
. Established plants are drought tolerant
Hardy to about -15°c.
There are several named forms selected for their ornamental value.
Hybridizes with other members of this genus
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Saponaria ocymoides. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Saponaria ocymoides.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
? 2.02.12.22.3 Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
? 3.03.1 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
? 4.04.1 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
? 6.06.1 Chatto. B. The Dry Garden. Dent ISBN 0460045512 (1982-00-00)
? 7.07.17.27.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
? Cite error: Invalid
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