Quillaja saponaria

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Soap bark tree
Quillaja 608.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Quillajaceae[1]
Genus: Quillaja[1]
Species: Q. saponaria
Binomial name
Quillaja saponaria

Soap bark tree (Quillaja saponaria) is a tree of the family Quillajaceae.[1] In commerce, it is known as Panama wood. The tree grows naturally from warm temperate central Chile north to Bolivia and Peru. It can grow to 15 m (49 ft) to 20 m (66 ft) high. The Soap bark tree gets its name because the inner bark can be made into a powder which can be used as soap. Its compounds are also used as foam in beer and other drinks. The tree also has medicinal uses.[2]

Morphology[change | change source]

Quillay is an evergreen tree, with grey bark. Alternate leaves, glaber, acute apex and obtuse base, bright green, near entire margins with 4-8 teeth. Flowers light green or white, hermaphrodite, pentamer, radiate. Five petals, 5 sepals, 10 stamens and 5 pistils. Fruit: a star-shape capsule, with winged seeds.

star shape capsule

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 APG II 2003 listing notes that Quillajaceae is a part of the order Fabales and no longer a part of the family Rosaceae (order Rosales)
  2. http://www.rain-tree.com/quillaja.htm