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Soapberry Tree

Soapberry TreeThe Soapberry (Sapindus Saponaria, Linn.) has the distinction of bearing "sope berries like a musket ball that washeth as white as sope." So writes an early explorer of southern Florida.

The berries produce a good lather in water. The Asiatic sort have long been used for washing silks and rare woollen fabrics, such as cashmere shawls.

The stem of the ash-like leaf is winged with a narrow, leaf-like web throughout its length, as is that of our familiar smooth sumach of the roadside thickets.