Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

Western Soapberry

Sapindus drummondii
Plant Type: Trees
Native Environment: Glade
Season of Interest: Mid (May - June), Late (July - frost), Winter (Nov - Mar)
Main Color: Green
Fall Color: Gold
Hardy From Zone:
Hardy To Zone:

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Hardiness Zones

Midwest map of zones 5 (north), 6, and 7 (south)

as defined by the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map; (hardiness zones are not recorded for all Grow Native! plants)
Sun Exposure 
Full Sun
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate
Nature Attracting
Butterfly, Pollinators/Beneficial Insects
Wildlife Benefit
Nesting, Food/Birds, Food/Small Animals, Butterfly / Moth Host, Butterfly / Moth Nectar
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

25 to
30
feet

Spread:

20 to
30
feet
Size
Height: 25 to
30
feet
Spread: 20 to
30
feet
Size
Height: 25 to
30
feet
Spread: 20 to
30
feet
Typical Landscape Use
Dried seed can be polished to make attractive beads. Native Americans made soap from the fruit which will lather when rubbed with water between your hands. Remember that the fruit and seed are poisonous!
Establishment and Care Instructions
Rather slow to grow, best in full sun and well drained soils, very tolerant of high pH soils, so grows well in limestone areas where many other trees do not grow well.
Special Features
Special Usage
Basic Description

An attractive native tree with glossy compound leaves and excellent deep yellow-gold fall color. Flowers are showy, creamy-white on upright panicles up to 10″ long. The translucent-yellow, grape-like fruit are poisonous. Fruit ripen in October and persist through much of the winter to give this tree many seasons of interest. Fish who eat the seed from fallen fruit are poisoned. Gray ‘sculpted’ bark gives great winter interest. Not commonly planted, but a great ‘almost unknown’ native! 50′ National Champion is in Greater Kansas City area. Soapberry Hairstreak specialist.

Where Should I Start?

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What’s the Next Step?

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Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

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