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Soapberry, Western Sapindus drummondii

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Zones 6 - 9 Zones 6 - 9
Hardiness Zones 6 - 9
The Western Soapberry can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Ornamental Tree Ornamental Tree
Type of tree
Ornamental Trees, Shade Trees
25' - 30' High 25' - 30' High
Mature Height
The Western Soapberry grows to be 25' - 30' feet in height.
25' - 40' Spread 25' - 40' Spread
Mature Spread
The Western Soapberry has a spread of about 25' - 40' at full maturity.
Medium Growth Medium Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a medium growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This soapberry does well in full sun, partial shade.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil
The Western Soapberry grows in acidic, alkaline, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, wide range, clay soils.
Rounded Shape Rounded Shape
Shape
This soapberry has rounded, vase shape.
Attributes

This is a great for urban sites because it tolerates wind, drought, and dry compacted soils. The Soapberry is common in bottomland forests in Oklahoma.

Description

A North American native, Western Soapberry grows in full sun or partial shade on a wide variety of soils. The crown is much denser in full-day sun. Western Soapberry is particularly well-suited to urban conditions, tolerating wind, drought, and infertile soils with ease. Transplants easily and establishes with only minimal irrigation. The close-grained, strong wood makes this tree very resistant to wind damage and adaptable to urban landscapes.

Wildlife Value

The Soapberry is a favorite of butterflies in early summer.

History/Lore/Use

The Soapberry is also called the Chinaberry, Indian Soap Plant, Jaboncillo, or Cherrion. The fruit of the Soapberry gives off a lather when mixed with water and Native Americans used these as a soap substitute. It is native from Missouri to Northern Mexico.

Moisture

The Western Soapberry tolerates drought conditions, but prefers irrigation or regular watering when young.

Leaves

The leaves of this tree are medium-green in the summer and turn an attractive yellow in the fall.

Flower Color

The blooms may be either white or yellow.

Bloom Time

The Western Soapberry blooms in May and June.

Fruit Description

The fruit of the Western Soapberry resembles a cherry and is 1/2" in diameter and is yellow-orange.