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Saponaria ocymoides - L.

Common Name Tumbling Ted. Rock Soapwort, Rock soapwort
Family Caryophyllaceae
USDA hardiness 2-7
Known Hazards The plant contains saponins[13]. 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].
Habitats Sunny slopes and rocks, usually limestone, in foothills up to about 2300 metres in the Alps[187].
Range Europe.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Saponaria ocymoides Tumbling Ted. Rock Soapwort, Rock soapwort


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Saponaria ocymoides Tumbling Ted. Rock Soapwort, Rock soapwort
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Summary

Bloom Color: Pink. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer. Form: Prostrate, Spreading or horizontal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Saponaria ocymoides is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Ground Cover; South Wall. In. West Wall. In.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses

Soap

All parts of the plant are rich in saponins and can be used as a soap substitute[169]. The saponins are extracted by simmering the plant in water. Plants can be dried for later use[169]. A gentle and effective cleaner[169]. Plants make a good carpeting ground cover when spaced about 60cm apart each way[208].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden. Requires a gritty well-drained sunny dry position on a wall or the edge of a border creeping over a path[187]. Grows well in sandy and dry soils[188, 190]. Prefers a moisture-retentive soil[200]. Prefers a lime-free soil[1]. Established plants are drought tolerant[190]. Hardy to about -15°c[187]. There are several named forms selected for their ornamental value[200]. Hybridizes with other members of this genus[200]. Special Features: Not North American native.

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Propagation

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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Gentiana saponariaHarvestbells03
Quillaja saponariaSoap-Bark Tree, Soapbark03
Sapindus saponariaSoapberry, Wild Chinaberry, Florida Soap Berry, Soap Nut, Soap Tree02
Saponaria officinalisSoapwort, Bouncingbet03

 

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Botanical References

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Readers comment

winnie kelly   Thu Apr 23 2009

how do you plant them?

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