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Sapindus saponaria L. var. saponaria
Soapberry

Sapindus saponaria
Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Family: Sapindaceae

Group: Dicot

Substrate: Terrestrial

Habit: Tree

Perennation: Perennial

Native Range: Southeastern United States (Florida, eastern Georgia), the West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America.

Map of select IRC data for peninsular Florida

IRC SOUTH FLORIDA Status: Rare

SOUTH FLORIDA Occurrence: Present

SOUTH FLORIDA Native Status: Native

South Florida History and Distribution: A rare tree scattered in South Florida. Most plants in South Florida have a noticeable winged margin on the leaf rachis, but the form with a wingless or nearly wingless rachis has been reported as far south as Lee County (Nelson 1994) and Broward County (Hammerstein s.n. FLAS); this form has previously been described as S. marginatus. The wingless form can be confused with S. drummondii, from eastern Louisiana and westward, which has deciduous leaves and fruit turning black in drying. ITIS and other authorities now treat S. drummondii as a variety of S. saponaria.

SOUTH FLORIDA Cultivated Status: Cultivated

Comments: Visit our Natives For Your Neighborhood website for more information and images. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

Synonyms: Sapindus marginatus.

Other data on Sapindus saponaria var. saponaria available from :

Sapindus saponaria var. saponaria has been found in the following 25 conservation areas :
Occurrence Native Status
Alice C. Wainwright Park Present Native
Big Cypress National Preserve Present Native
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Present Native
Biscayne National Park Present Native
Cape Romano - Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve Present Native
Collier-Seminole State Park Present Native
Crandon Park Present Native
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammocks Botanical State Park Present Native
Deering Estate at Cutler Present Native
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park Present Native
Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park Possibly Extirpated Possibly Extirpated
Enchanted Forest Park Present Native, Cultivated Only
Everglades National Park Present Native
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park Possibly Extirpated Possibly Extirpated
Indian Key Historic State Park Present Native
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Present Native
Koreshan State Historic Site Present Native
Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park Present Native
Long Key State Park Present Native, Cultivated Only
Mound Key Archaeological State Park Present Native
Oleta River State Park Present Native
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Present Native
Simpson Park Present Native
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge Present Native
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park Present Native

Sapindus saponaria var. saponaria has been found in the following 7 counties :
Occurrence Native Status
Broward County Native
Collier County Native
Hendry County Native
Lee County Native
Miami-Dade County Native
Monroe County (Keys) Native
Monroe County (Mainland) Native

Sapindus saponaria var. saponaria has been found in the following 5 habitats :
Bayhead
Coastal Berm
Mesic Hammock
Rockland Hammock
Shell Mound

All Images:

Sapindus saponaria
Copyright by: Shirley Denton
Sapindus saponaria
Copyright by: Susan Matthewes, 2016
Leaf from the Florida Keys with a typical winged rachis
Sapindus saponaria
Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley
Sapindus saponaria
Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley
Sapindus saponaria
Copyright by: Shirley Denton
Sapindus saponaria
Copyright by: Rosimar Rivera