Scientific Name:
Saponaria officinalis L.
Vernacular Name(s):

Rhizomatous and stoloniferous perennial. Flowering stems stout, erect, glabrous or sparsely minutely papillate, 30–90 cm tall. Lvs ovate to narrowly elliptic, tapering to short petiole, becoming sessile above, prominently 3-veined, acute, glabrous or upper lvs scabrid on margins, 4–10 × 1.5–3 cm. Infl. a dense terminal cyme with lower branches bearing few-flowered dichasia; bracts linear-lanceolate, scabrid on margins, 1–2 cm long. Pedicels 3–5 mm long. Calyx cylindric or slightly inflated, (15)–18–23 mm long, glabrous or hairy; teeth broadly triangular, acute. Petals pink; claw > calyx; limb spreading, entire or emarginate, c. 1 cm long; coronal scales paired at base of limb, small, triangular. Capsule = calyx, oblong-ovoid, but often not formed; carpophore 2–3 mm long. Seeds blackish, c. 1.8 mm long.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Jan.–Feb.– (May)