Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bouncing Bet

Saponaria officinalis is the botanical name of the plant so commonly called Bouncing Bet, Sweet William and Common Soapwort. It is a perennial herb which is much grown for its flowers that come in dense clusters of pink to white in colour and have a fragrant smell. The flowers will grow in late spring. This plant will grow to a metre tall.
A hairless and erect plant, the leaves of bouncing bet is narrowly oval and greyish. Tending to grow in areas that are bushy, while also on roadsides and homes. The leaves of this plant used to be gathered and soaked or boiled in water, where the liquid that came to be from such was used as liquid soap, and can be used to wash ones hair.
Bouncing bet has the potential of being used as a groundcover thanks to its vigorous spreading. Well drained soil with a neutral to alkaline soil is needed to grow this plant, along with full sun or semi-shade. There is some tolerance to drought.
Best grown in sandy soil, bouncing bet does not deal as well with loam and clay soils. This plant is also hardy, growing in low to high moisture. Bouncing bet has rhizomes, and if allowed to, will spread using its root system at a quick rate. The very rhizomes can be used for soap.

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