Scientific Name: Sapindus saponaria
Common Names: Wingleaf Soapberry, Western Soapberry
Duration: Perennial, Deciduous
Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert, Upland, Riparian. This plant grows on upland slopes and in desert and upland canyons.
Flower Color: Creamy white
Flowering Season: Spring (late), Summer
Height: To 50 feet (15 m) tall, but usually less here
Description: The flowers are in large, branched clusters at the branch tips. The individual flowers are small and have 5 petals. The flowers are followed by round, 2/3 inch (1.5 cm) wide, one-seeded fruit with a leathery, translucent golden orange skin that darkens as it dries. The berries contain saponins and can rubbed in water to make soap for washing clothes. The leaves are green, alternate, and pinnately compound with 7 to 19 sickle-shaped lanceolate leaflets. The bark is rough and gray-brown in color.
Poisonous – The berries contain toxic saponins.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Sapindaceae – Soapberry family
Genus: Sapindus L. – soapberry
Species: Sapindus saponaria L. – wingleaf soapberry
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