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Bouncing Bet


Family:  Caryophyllaceae, pink family
Genus species:  Saponaria officinalis 

Leaves are broad, lance-shaped.

Flowers are sweetly scented, lavender, pink or white, with five petals. Flowers are produced in dense clusters at the end of the main stem.

Common Uses and Interesting Facts:
Plant roots contain saponin, which is toxic but can be used as a mild soap. Saponin produces soap-like foaming when shaken in aqueous solution.

More Information:

The genus name Saponaria is from the Latin sapo meaning "soap," referring to use of plant as a soap.  The species name officinalis is from the Latin for "of the apothecaries" or "official medicines sold in shops."