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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Caryophyllaceae
Tribus: Caryophylleae
Genus: Saponaria

S. aenesia – S. alsinoides –S. bargyliana - S. bellidifolia – S. bodeana – S. caespitosa – S. calabrica – S. cerastioides – S. cypria – S. dalmasii – S. emineana – S. esfandiarii – S. floribunda – – S. gypsacea – S. halophila – S. intermedia – S. iranica – S. jagelii – S. karapinarensis – S. kotschyi – S. lutea – S. mesogitana – S. ocymoides – S. officinalis – S. orientalis – S. pachyphylla – S. pamphylica – S. picta – S. pinetorum – S. prostrata – S. pumila – S. pumilio – S. sicula – S. spathulifolia – S. stenopetala – S. subrosularis – S. suffruticens – S. syriaca – S. tadzhikistanica – S. tridentataS. glutinosa


S. × boissieri – S. × lempergii – S. × olivana – S. × peregrina

Saponaria L., Sp. Pl. 1: 408 (1753); Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 191 (1754).

Type species: S. officinalis L.


Bootia Neck., Delic. Gallo-Belg. 1: 193 (1768), nom. illeg. non Adans. (1763).
Smegmathamnium Fenzl ex Rchb., Icon. Fl. Germ. Helv. (H.G.L. Reichenbach) 6: t. 244 (1842)-1844.
Spanizium Griseb., Spic. Fl. Rumel. 1: 180 (1843).
Pleioneura Rech.f., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 75(3): 357 (1951).
Type: Pleinoeura griffithiana (Boiss.) Rech.f. (≡ Saponaria griffithiana Boiss.).

Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 408. Reference page.
Linnaeus, C. 1754. Genera Plantarum, ed. 5: 191. Reference page.

Additional references

Czerepanov, S.K. 1995. Vascular plants of Russia and adjacent states (the former USSR). 516 pp., Cambridge etc.: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-45006-3. Reference page. : 172–173.
Hernández-Ledesma, P., Berendsohn, W. G., Borsch, T., Mering, S. v., Akhani, H., Arias, S., Castañeda-Noa, I., Eggli, U., Eriksson, R., Flores-Olvera, H., Fuentes-Bazán, S., Kadereit, G., Klak, C., Korotkova, N., Nyffeler R., Ocampo G., Ochoterena, H., Oxelman, B., Rabeler, R. K., Sanchez, A., Schlumpberger, B. O. & Uotila, P. 2015. A taxonomic backbone for the global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Willdenowia 45(3): 281–383. DOI: 10.3372/wi.45.45301 Open access Reference page.
Madhani, H., Rabeler, R.K., Pirani, A., Oxelman, B., Heubl, G. & Zarre, S. 2018. Untangling phylogenetic patterns and taxonomic confusion in tribe Caryophylleae (Caryophyllaceae) with special focus on generic boundaries. Taxon 67(1): 83–112. DOI: 10.12705/671.6 PDF Reference page.
Rechinger, K.H.: Saponaria. In: Rechinger, K.H., V. Melzheimer, W. Möschl & H. Schimann-Czeika 1988. Flora Iranica. Flora des Iranischen Hochlandes und der umrahmenden Gebirge. No. 163. Caryophyllaceae II – Alsinoideae et Silenoideae. Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, Graz: 196–205.
Villar Peréz, L. 1990. Saponaria. In Castroviejo, S. & al. (eds.) Flora Iberica Vol. II. Platanaceae - Plumbaginaceae (partim). CSIC. Real Jardín Botánico. Madrid. [1]


Hassler, M. 2017. Saponaria. 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. 2017. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2017 June 21. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2017. Saponaria. Published online. Accessed: June 21 2017.
Euro+Med 2006 onwards: Saponaria in Euro+Med PlantBase – the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2015 7 5.

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: Sabunotu
català: Saponària
čeština: mydlice
dansk: Sæbeurt
Deutsch: Seifenkräuter
English: Soapworts
Esperanto: Saponario
euskara: Xaboi-belar
suomi: Suopayrtit
français: Saponaires
Gaeilge: Garbhán creagach
galego: Saponaria
עברית: בורית
hornjoserbsce: Mydlica
magyar: Szappanfű
հայերեն: Օճառախոտ
Ido: Saponario
日本語: サポナリア
ქართული: საპონა
қазақша: Сабыншөп
Nederlands: Zeepkruid
polski: Mydlnica
русский: Мыльнянка
slovenčina: mydlica
svenska: Såpnejliksläktet
українська: Собаче мило
中文: 肥皂草属

Saponaria is a genus of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae, native to Asia and Europe, and are commonly known as soapworts.[1] They are herbaceous perennials and annuals, some with woody bases. The flowers are abundant, five-petalled and usually in shades of pink[2] or white.[1] The genus is closely related to Lychnis and Silene, being distinguished from these by having only two (not three or five) styles in the flower.[2] It is also related to Gypsophila, but its calyx is cylindrical rather than bell-shaped.[3]

The most familiar species might be common soapwort (S. officinalis), which is native to Eurasia but is known in much of the world as an introduced species, often a weed, and sometimes a cultivated ornamental plant.[1] The genus name Saponaria derives from the Latin sapo ("soap") and -aria ("pertaining to"),[1] and at least one species, S. officinalis, has been used to make soap.[4] It contains saponins, and a liquid soap could be produced by soaking the leaves in water.[1] This soap is still used to clean delicate antique tapestries.[5]

Saponaria species are eaten by the larvae of some butterflies and moths, including the Lychnis and Coleophora saponariella, which is exclusive to the genus.

There are thirty[3][6] to forty[1][7][8] species in the genus.

Species include:[9]

Saponaria bargyliana[10]
Saponaria bellidifolia
Saponaria caespitosa
Saponaria calabrica – Adriatic soapwort
Saponaria jagelii
Saponaria karapinarensis[11]
Saponaria kotschyi[12]
Saponaria lutea
Saponaria ocymoides – rock soapwort, tumbling-Ted
Saponaria officinalis – bouncingbet, sweet Betty
Saponaria pamphylica
Saponaria pumila[13]
Saponaria pumilio – pygmy pink
Saponaria sicula
Saponaria suffruticosa[14]


Thieret, John W.; Rabeler, Richard K. (2005). "Saponaria". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 5. New York and Oxford – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
RHS A–Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. ISBN 978-1405332965.
Ghazanfar, Shahina A.; Nasir, Yasin J. "Saponaria". Flora of Pakistan – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Coombes, A. J. (2012). The A to Z of Plant Names. USA: Timber Press. p. 265. ISBN 9781604691962.
Elliot, Doug (July 1995). Wild Roots: Forager's Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Roots, Tubers, Corms and Rhizomes of North America. ISBN 978-0892815388.
Lu, Dequan; Lidén, Magnus; Oxelman, Bengt. "Saponaria". Flora of China. 6 – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Jürgens, Andreas; Witt, Taina; Gottsberger, Gerhard (2003). "Flower scent composition in Dianthus and Saponaria species (Caryophyllaceae) and its relevance for pollination biology and taxonomy" (PDF). Biochemical Systematics and Ecology. 31 (4): 345–57. doi:10.1016/S0305-1978(02)00173-4.
Hartman, Ronald L.; Rabeler, Richard K. (2012). "Saponaria". In Jepson Flora Project (ed.). Jepson eFlora. The Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley.
Saponaria. GRIN.
Mutlu, B. (2006). "Saponaria bargyliana Gombault (Caryophyllaceae): a new record for Turkey and analysis of its morphological characters with related species". Turkish Journal of Botany (30): 63–70. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29.
Vural, M.; Duman, H.; Aytaç, Z.; Adigüzel, N. (2006). "Saponaria karapinarensis, Senecio salsuginea and Centaurea tuzgoluensis, three new species from central Anatolia, Turkey". Belgian Journal of Botany. 139 (2): 252–60. JSTOR 20794613.
Ataslar, E. (2004). "Morphological and anatomical investigations on the Saponaria kotschyi Boiss.(Caryophyllaceae)". Turkish Journal of Botany. 28: 193–99. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29.
Tribsch, Andreas; Schönswetter, Peter; Stuessy, Tod (2002). "Saponaria pumila (Caryophyllaceae) and the ice age in the European Alps". American Journal of Botany. 89 (12): 2024–33. doi:10.3732/ajb.89.12.2024. PMID 21665631.
Dönmez, A. A. (2009). "Saponaria suffruticosa (Caryophyllaceae): An enigmatic species from south-west Asia on border of Turkey and Iraq" (PDF). Hacettepe J Biol. 37 (3): 181–87. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-29.

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