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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/18/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 7/18/2013)
Genus Sapindus saponaria L.
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 367. 1753.
Note TYPE: Brazil or Jamaica, Herb. Linn. 514.1 or 514.2 (LINN, not seen, MO, microfiche).
Synonym Sapindus rigidus Millhr, Gard. Dict., ed. 8. 2. 1768. TYPE: Mexico, Vera Cruz, Houstoun (not seen). Cupania saponarioides Swartz, Prodr. Veg. Ind. Occ. 62. 1788. TYPE: West Indies (not seen). Sapindus indica Poir. in Lam., Encycl. M6th. 6: 667. 1804. TYPE: West Indies (not seen). Sapindus forsythii DC., Prodr. 1: 607. 1824. TYPE: in arenosis maritanus insulae Granatae (not seen). Sapindus stenopterus DC., Prodr. 1: 607. 1824. TYPE: Santo Domingo, Bertero (not seen). Sapindus inaequialis DC., Prodr. 1: 608. 1824. TYPE: Guadelupe, Bertero (not seen). Sapindus divaricatus Cambess. in St.-Hilaire, Fl. Bras. Mer. 1: 300. 1828. TYPE: Brazil, Minas Gerais, prope Sabana (not seen). Sapindus turczaninowii Vidal, Sinop. Fam. Atlas. 21. tab. 34. 1833. TYPE: not seen. Sapindus thurstonii Rock, Bot. Bull. Board Commiss. Agric. Forest. Hawaii 1: 1911. TYPE: Sandwich Islands (not seen).
Description Trees 3-17(-23) m tall, to 18 cm d.b.h.; stems sulcate, glabrous to puberu- lent. Leaves pinnate, 10-30(-57) cm long; leaflets 5-10, narrowly lanceolate to oblong, unequal, obtuse to long-acuminate at the apex, acute or obtuse to attenuate at the base, entire, membranous to somewhat coriaceous, 5-13(-20) cm long, 3-5(-7.3) cm wide, glabrous or subglabrous; rachis sulcate, marginally ribbed or winged; petioles winged or wingless. Panicle terminal, 15-25 cm long, the branches and pedicels densely puberulent to tomentose; pedicels 0.5-1.5 mm long, articulate above the middle. Flowers white; sepals rotund or elliptic, puberu- lent, ciliolate, ca. 3 mm long; petals ca. 1.5 mm long, ciliolate, glabrous without, villous at base within; disc fleshy, spreading, glabrous; stamens exserted, to ca. 3 mm long, the filaments filiform, villous to about midway; ovary ovate, 3-lobed, glabrous. Fruit of 1-3 cocci; cocci brown to yellow, globose, glabrous, ca. 1.5 cm diam., shiny, often lenticellate at maturity, the surface smooth; seeds globose, 1.2 cm diam., set at the base of the carpel in a cottony mat of pubescence. Sapindus saponaria is distinguished from other Sapindaceae in Panama by be- ing arborescent, pinnately leaved, and having indehiscent 2- or 3-lobed fruits.
Habit Trees
Note Flowering occurs from November to January in Panama. Fruits develop to mature size by February and are apparently all dispersed before July.
Distribution ranges from southern Florida to the West Indies and Argentina. It has been introduced into tropical areas of Africa and Asia.
Note In Panama it is known from lower montane rain, premontane wet, tropical moist, premontane moist and tropical dry forests.
Common limoncillo jaboncillo
Common soap- berry
Note When crushed and rubbed with water the fruits produce a lather, and they have been used as a substitute for soap. Standley (1928) reports that the fruits contain as much as 30% saponin.
Specimen CANAL ZONE: Gaillard Hwy., ca. 1/2 mi from Gamboa Road, Correa et al. 662 (DUKE, PMA, SCZ) Radar Road N of Summit Garden, Croat 9084 (MO, SCZ). Summit Gardens, Croat 12649 (DUKE, F, MO, SCZ). 1 mi N of Paraiso, Croat 12650 (DUKE, F, MO, SCZ). Gaillard Hwy. near Continental Divide, Croat 13260 (MO, SCZ). Near Madden Dam, Dodge 16559 (MO). Farfan Beach, Dwyer 2603, 3057 (both MO). Curundu', Dwyer 3481 (MO). Cocoli, Dwyer 7216 (GH, MO, US). 3 mi N of Gamboa, Gentry 2823 (DUKE, MO, S). 2 mi W of Thatcher Ferry Bridge, Lazor 2201 (MO, SCZ). Farfan Beach, Tyson & Blum 2603 (SCZ). CHIRIQUI: Cerro Horqueta, NW of Boquete, Dwyer et al. 541 (MO). COCLE: Capel- lania, Nata', Gonzalez 3 (MO, PMA). Hills NE of El Valle, Lewis et al. 1689 (GH, MO). DARIEN: Bolamina, Duke & Bristan 386 (MO). HERRERA: vic. of Chitre, Allen 1098 (F, MO, US). PANAMA: Vic. of Pacora, Allen 2030 (MO, US). 1 mi E of Tocumen, Blum & Tyson 1967 (SCZ). Headwaters of Rio Corso, Duke 11923 (MO). Jaboncillo, Montigo Bay area, Fischer 12 (F). SAN BLAS: Rio Sugandi across from Ustupo-Concepcion Island, Mori 389.
 
 
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