SelecTree: Tree Detail
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
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. Can grow to 60 feet in native range.
Native to Chile.
Previously listed in the Rosaceae family.
Additional Common Names
SOAPBARK TREE, QUILLAJA, KILAYA, MURILLO BARK, PANAMA WOOD
Has Evergreen foliage.
Height: 30 - 45 feet.
Width: 15 - 25 feet.
Growth Rate: 12 Inches per Year.
Longevity Less than 50 years.
Leaves Ovate, Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.
Yellow or 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.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.
Desirable Wildlife Plant.
Special Uses & Values
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Quillaja saponaria Tree Record." 1995-2021. May 14, 2021.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/quillaja-saponaria >
SelecTree Nursery Connection Map
Cal Poly / ESRI