SAPONARIA

FAMILY: Caryophyllaceae

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Regular Water
  • Moderate Water

Plant Details

These European natives are generally low, spreading plants that are useful as ground covers or in rock gardens. Best in lean, very well-drained soil.

giant- flowered soapwort

saponaria x lempergii

  • Handsome blue-green leaves to 12 inches long form a mat 8 inches tall, 112 feet wide.
  • Large clusters of bright pink, inch-wide flowers virtually smother the foliage for weeks in midsummer.
  • Max Frei has soft pink blooms.

rock soapwort

saponaria ocymoides

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Trailing habit to 1 feet high and 3 feet across.
  • Dark green, oval, 12 inches-long leaves.
  • In spring, plants are covered with 14 inches pink flowers in loose bunches shaped much like those of phlox.
  • Looks especially nice cascading over a wall.
  • Selections include white 'Alba' and deep pink 'Rubra Compacta'.

soapwort, bouncing bet

saponaria officinalis

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Grows to 2 feet tall, spreading wider by underground runners.
  • Can be invasive in rich, moist soil.
  • Dark green, oval, pointed leaves to 4 inches long; loose clusters of inch-wide red, pink, or white flowers in midsummer.
  • When crushed in water, roots produce a sudsy, detergentlike lather.
  • This is one tough plant; before the days of herbicides, it could be seen growing in the cinders along railroad rights-of-way.
  • The selection 'Rosea Plena', with double light pink flowers, is the common garden form.
  • Rubra Plena has crimson blooms that turn paler as they age.

cushion soapwort

saponaria x olivana

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Tiny, dark green leaves form a compact cushion spreading to 24 inches tall, 8 inches wide.
  • In early summer, the foliage mound is covered with short-stemmed pink blooms to 34 inches across.

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