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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Sapindales

Familia: Sapindaceae
Subfamilia: Sapindoideae
Tribus: Sapindeae
Genus: Sapindus
Species: S. chrysotrichus – S. delavayi – S. drummondii – S. emarginatus – S. lippoldii – S. marginatus – S. mukorossi – S. oahuensis – S. rarak – S. saponaria – S. tomentosus – S. trifoliatus – S. vitiensis

Sapindus L. Sp. Pl. 1: 367. (1753)

Type species: Sapindus saponaria L. Sp. Pl. 1: 367. (1753)


Didymococcus Blume
Dittelasma Hook.f.
Electra Noronha


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 367.
International Plant Names Index. 2014. Sapindus. Published online. Accessed: Mar. 15 2014.
Hassler, M. 2019. Sapindus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2019. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Aug. 5. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Sapindus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Aug. 7. Reference page. 2014. Sapindus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2014 Mar. 15.
Sapindus – Taxon details on Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).

Vernacular names
čeština: Mýdelník (rod)
Deutsch: Waschnussbaum
English: Soapberry, Soapnut
suomi: Saippuamarjat
français: Arbre à savon
Kreyòl ayisyen: Bwa savonèt
magyar: Mosódiófa
Nederlands: Zeepnotenboom
norsk: Såpebærslekten
Runa Simi: Ch'uchu
русский: Мыльное дерево
Kiswahili: Mmoyomoyo
Türkçe: Sabun ağacı

Sapindus is a genus of about five to twelve species of shrubs and small trees in the lychee family, Sapindaceae, native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the world. The genus includes both deciduous and evergreen species. Members of the genus are commonly known as soapberries[3] or soapnuts because the fruit pulp is used to make soap. The generic name is derived from the Latin words sapo, meaning "soap", and indicus, meaning "of India".[4]

The leaves are alternate, 15–40 cm (5.9–15.7 in) long, pinnate (except in S. oahuensis, which has simple leaves), with 14-30 leaflets, the terminal leaflet often absent. The flowers form in large panicles, each flower small, creamy white. The fruit is a small leathery-skinned drupe 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) in diameter, yellow ripening blackish, containing one to three seeds.

Rod of Asclepius2.svg
Soapnut is used with natural dyes to color the yarn of Tasar silk.
Sapindus emarginatus leaves, India

The drupes (soapnuts) contain saponins, which have surfactant properties, having been used for washing by ancient Asian and American peoples.[5][6] A number of other uses for Sapindus have also been reported such making arrows from the wood and decorative objects from the seeds.[7]
Folk medicine

Leaf and fruit extracts of Sapindus have historically been used in folk remedies to treat various conditions.[8]

Sapindus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) species including Endoclita malabaricus. Kernel extracts of soapnut disrupt the activity of enzymes of larvae and pupae and inhibits the growth of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, an important vector of viral diseases.[9]
Dyeing agent

Soapnut is used as a dyeing agent for coloring the yarn of Tussar silk and cotton.[10]
Sapindus emarginatus drupes in Hyderabad, India
S. saponaria var. drummondii berries

The number of species is disputed between different authors, particularly in North America where between one and three species are accepted.

Sapindus delavayi (China, India)
Sapindus detergens (syn. var. Soapnut, Ritha)
Sapindus emarginatus Vahl (Southern Asia)
Sapindus laurifolius Vahl – Ritha (India)
Sapindus marginatus Willd. – Florida Soapberry (Florida to South Carolina); included in S. saponaria by some authors.
Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn. – Indian Soapberry (Northern India east to the Himalayas)
Sapindus oahuensis Hillebr. ex Radlk. – Lonomea (Kauaʻi and Oʻahu, Hawaii)
Sapindus rarak DC. (Southeast Asia)
Sapindus saponaria L.
S. s. var. drummondii (Hook. & Arn.) L.D.Benson – Western Soapberry (southwestern United States, Mexico)
S. s. var. saponaria – Wingleaf Soapberry (southeastern United States, Caribbean, island of Hawaiʻi, Central and South America)
Sapindus tomentosus (China)
Sapindus trifoliatus L. – South India Soapnut or Three-leaf Soapberry (Southern India, Pakistan)
Sapindus vitiensis A.Gray (American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji)[3][11][12]

Formerly placed here

Lepisanthes fruticosa (Roxb.) Leenh. (as S. fruticosus Roxb.)
Lepisanthes senegalensis (Juss. ex Poir.) Leenh. (as S. senegalensis Juss. ex Poir.)
Lepisanthes tetraphylla (Vahl) Radlk. (as S. tetraphylla Vahl)
Talisia cerasina (Benth.) Radlk. (as S. cerasinus Benth.)
Talisia esculenta (A.St.-Hil.) Radlk. (as S. esculenta A.St.-Hil.)[12]


"Sapindus L." TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
"Genus: Sapindus L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
"Sapindus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. IV R-Z. Taylor & Francis US. p. 2381. ISBN 978-0-8493-2678-3.
Austin, Daniel F. (2004). Florida Ethnobotany. CRC Press. pp. 601–603. ISBN 978-0-8493-2332-4.
"Highly potent anti-leishmanial derivatives of hederagenin, a triperpenoid from Sapindus saponaria L." European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. November 2016.
"Soapberry (Sapindus) in Arizona" (PDF). Phytoneuron. November 2020.
Upadhyay A, Singh DK (2012). "Pharmacological effects of Sapindus mukorossi". Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo. 54 (5): 273–280. doi:10.1590/s0036-46652012000500007. PMID 22983291.
"Soapnut, a mosquito repellent". Down To Earth.
Deshmukh A, Bansal L (2014). "Sapindus emarginatus Vahl as a natural scouring agent in dyeing of cotton with Carissa carandas leaf extract" (PDF). BioLife. 2 (2): 599–604.
"Sapindus vitiensis". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2009-03-23.
"GRIN Species Records of Sapindus". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2010-11-01.

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