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Bouncingbet (Saponaria officinalis L.)


Bouncingbet is an escaped ornamental that can be found along roadsides, meadows, and waste areas. Originally from Europe, Bouncingbet is a perennial that grows 1 to 3 feet tall with pink to white flowers arranged in clusters at the ends of the main stem and branches. Each flower has 5 to 6 petals with a notch at the tip. Leaves have three distinct veins from the base, are smooth, and grow opposite eachother along the jointed, hairless stems.


Bouncingbet is toxic to grazing animals. It spreads rapidly and replaces plants of greater value. Bouncingbet was used as a soap substitute in Europe in the early 20th century, a lather can be made by crushing the leaves and mixing them with water.

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