SelecTree: Tree Detail

SOAPBARK TREE
Quillaja saponaria

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Photo Locations: UC Santa Cruz Arboretum - Santa Cruz, CA, San Marcos Growers - Santa Barbara, CA, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens - Fort Bragg, CA and San Francisco, CA

General Notes

Soapbark is famous for the medicinal and commercial use of its inner bark, an abundant source of saponinsa group of bitter-tasting, organic compounds that produce a soap-like foam when shaken in water. A soap can be made by crushing the inner bark and mixing with water. Used commercially in Chile as an ingredient of laundry soap and shampoo among other uses. Soapbark saponins are supposedly poisonous when consumed at concentrations greater than the minuscule amount added to most commercial products.

Native to Chile.

Family: Quillajaceae
Previously listed in the Rosaceae family.

Synonyms

Quillaja poeppigii
Quillaja smegmadermos

Additional Common Names

SOAPBARK TREE, QUILLAJA, KILAYA, MURILLO BARK, PANAMA WOOD

Tree Characteristics

Upright Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 30 - 45 feet.

Width: 15 - 25 feet.

Growth Rate: 12 Inches per Year.

Longevity Less than 50 years.

Leaves Ovate, Glossy Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Pale Yellow to Cream. Flowers in Spring or Summer. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).

Few, Brown Capsule, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Fall or Winter.

Bark Brown, Scaly.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 12 - 24.

USDA Hardiness Zones 5 - 9.

Exposure Full Sun.

Drought tolerant.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

Desirable Wildlife Plant.

Attracts Bees.

Special Uses & Values

Street Tree.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Quillaja saponaria Tree Record." 1995-2019. Jul 23, 2019.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/quillaja-saponaria >

SelecTree Nursery Connection Map
Cal Poly / ESRI