Thursday, February 2, 2012

Soapwort

Saponaria

Saponaria 'Bressingham'
A prostrate, spreading perennial, reaching a maximum size of 3 inches x 1 foot.
It makes a great plant for the rock garden.
The foliage is mid-green.
The abundant, tiny, pink flowers are borne early summer to early autumn.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on humus-rich, sandy, well drained soil.

Saponaria lempergii ( Giant Flowered Soapwort )
Very vigorous, prostrate, spreading perennial, reaching up to 6 inches x 2 feet.
The leaves, up to 0.5 inches in length, are blue-green.
The very profuse, clear-pink flowers, up to 1 inch across, are borne in large clusters during mid-summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 in full sun to partial shade on humus rich, well drained soil. Easy to grow. Deer resistant.

'Max Frei'
A cushion-like perennial, reaching a maximum size of 1.5 x 2 ( rarely over 1 ) foot.
The large, pale rose-pink flowers are borne early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 7 in full sun. Drought tolerant.

Saponaria ocymoides ( Soapwort )
Very fast growing, deeply taprooted, long lived, low prostrate perennial, reaching a maximum size of 1 x 3.5 feet ( rarely over 6 inches in height ), that is native to the European Alps. It looks great cascading over a wall or large boulders.
The oval leaves, up to 0.5 inches in length, are hairy bright green.
The very abundant, bright pink flowers, up to 0.5 inches wide, are borne on loose clusters during late spring.
Hardy zones 3 to 8, it is easy to grow in full sun to partial shade on humus-rich, light, well drained soil. Clay and alkaline tolerant, moderately drought tolerant and deer resistant. It does not enjoy hot humid summers or wet soil. Prune hard after flowering to force new shoots.

* historic archive photo


'Alba'
Same with pure white flowers.

'Rubra Compacta'
Forms a compact, low, creeping mat with very abundant, rich red flowers.

'Snow Tip'
Reaches a maximum size of 10 inches x 2.5 feet, with deep green foliage contrasting with very small, pure white flowers.

Saponaria officinalis ( Bouncing Bet )
A very fast growing, rhizomatous, upright, long-lived, clumping perennial, reaching a maximum size of 3.5 x 3.5 feet, that is native to much of Europe. It has naturalized in North America from British Columbia to central Saskatchewan to Sault Ste Marie to Tobermory, Ontario to central Quebec to Newfoundland; south to southern California to Louisiana to northern Florida. It is found on roadsides and clearings in the wild. It spreads by underground rhizomes to form significant colonies in just a few years.
The lance-shaped to oval leaves, up to 6 x 2 inches, are rough, gray-green to green.
The sweetly-fragrant, pink or white flowers, up to 1.6 inches across, are borne on dense clusters all summer long.
The flowers attract butterflies.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on light, well drained soil. Easy to grow and tolerant of heat and humidity. It may be a good idea to confine it or its creeping rhizomes will spread energetically. Shear during late spring for more compact habit. Propagation is from division during autumn or early spring.

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken on July 30 2013 @ Grand Bend, Ontario

* photos taken on Aug 4 2013 in Bayfield, Ontario

'Alba Plena'
Reaches a maximum height of 3.5 feet, with double, white flowers borne during early to mid summer.

'Rosea Plena'
A seedless clone, reaching a maximum height of 3.5 feet, bearing very fragrant, double pink flowers all summer long.

Saponaria x oliviana
A low, spreading perennial, reaching a maximum size of 4 x 16 inches, that is the hybrid between Saponaria caespitosa & S. pumilio.
The deep green foliage forms a low cushion.
The abundant, large pink flowers are borne on short stalks during early summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil.

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