Bouncing Bet – P

Saponaria officinalis

Family Pink (Caryophyllaceae)
Bloom Summer, fall
Habitat Fields, meadows, roadsides
Status Non-Native
Cycle Perennial
Height 1-2′
Flower Several white or pink flowers 1″ wide form open clusters. Each flower has 5 heart-shaped petals. The base of the blossom is a long green tube.
Leaf Leaves are narrow and 2-3″ long with a pointed tip and parallel veins.
Notes Bouncing Bet is often seen growing in patches along the roadside. Its flowers look similar to phlox. It is also called soapwort because the roots contain saponin, a chemical that becomes slippery and sudsy when wet. It was once used to make soap. It spreads by underground roots (rhizomes) but also produces large amounts of black seeds.DSCN2657-500x500

Photos