bouncing bet

(Saponaria officinalis)

Conservation Status
bouncing bet
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Bouncing bet is a 12 to 36 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on one or more stems from a horizontal, underground stem (rhizome). The rhizome is orange, long-creeping, branched, and tough. The plant is usually found in colonies.

The stem is erect, stout, hollow, swollen at the nodes, round in cross section, leafy, and hairless or mostly hairless. It is unbranched below the middle and has a few short, horizontal branches in the upper leaf axils but is otherwise unbranched above the middle. It is often tinged red.

There are usually 10 to 20 pairs of opposite leaves. The leaves are 1¼ to 6 long, and to 1¾ wide, though they are usually no more than 4¼ long. The lower leaves are connected to the stem on a 1 32 to long, poorly differentiated stalk (petiole). The upper leaves are stalkless. There is often a small cluster of leaves rising from the leaf axil. There are no small, leaf-like appendages (stipules) at the base of the blade or petiole. Each leaf is connected at the base to the leaf on the opposite side of the stem by a narrow, thin tissue. The leaf blade is inversely lance-shaped or egg-shaped, tapered at the base, and tapered to a point at the tip. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless. There are usually 3, rarely 5, prominent, parallel veins. The margins are untoothed and slightly wavy. The lower leaves are usually absent at flowering time.

The inflorescence is a dense, dome-shaped cluster (cyme) of showy flowers at the end of the stem and at the end of short, lateral branches in the upper leaf axils. The flowers are on erect to spreading, 1 32 to 3 16 long stalks.

Each flower is ¼ to 1 wide. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 10 stamens, and usually 2, sometimes 3, styles. The sepals (calyx) are fused at the base and for most of their length onto a cylinder-shaped, to 1 long, 3 16 in diameter tube, then separated at the tip into 5 narrowly triangular, up to long teeth. The calyx tube is green and sometimes tinged with red. It has 15 to 25 parallel veins and is usually hairless but sometimes has a few scattered hairs. At the base of the calyx there is a pair of leaf-like appendages (bracts), but no secondary calyx (epicalyx). The bracts are similar to the upper leaves but smaller. The petals are white to pink. They are narrowed at the base (clawed) and expanded at the tip into 5 16 to long, inversely lance-shaped to spoon-shaped lobes. The lobes are rounded or shallowly notched at the tip. They are widely spreading at first, then bend backward as they age. The petals often turn purple when they dry. The stamens have white filaments and pink anthers. They protrude well beyond the calyx tube.

The fruit is a to ¾ long, cylinder-shaped to egg-shaped capsule with 15 to 75 kidney-shaped seeds.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

12 to 36

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White to pink

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  No similar species  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Streambanks, river banks, pastures, roadsides, disturbed sites.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to October

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 28.

 
  1/17/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native to the Madeira Islands, Western Asia, and Europe. Introduced and naturalized in North America.

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Widespread but not common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Subclass Caryophyllidae  
  Superorder Caryophyllanae  
 

Order

Caryophyllales (pinks, cactuses, and allies)  
 

Family

Caryophyllaceae (pink)  
  Subfamily Caryophylloideae  
  Tribe Caryophylleae  
 

Genus

Saponaria (soapwort)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Lychnis saponaria

Saponaria officinalis var. glaberrima

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

bouncing bet

bouncing-bet

bouncingbet

bouncingbett

bouncingbet soapweed

soapwort

sweet Betty

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.

 

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

Claw

A stalk-like narrowed base of some petals and sepals.

 

Cyme

A branched, flat-topped or convex flower cluster in which the terminal flower opens first and the outermost flowers open last.

 

Epicalyx

A whorl of bracts, just below the calyx, resembling a secondary, outer calyx.

 

Linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

Node

The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate.

 

Petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Stipule

A small, leaf-like, scale-like, glandular, or rarely spiny appendage found at the base of a leaf stalk, usually occurring in pairs and usually dropping soon.

       
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Habitat

  bouncing bet    
       

Plant

  bouncing bet   bouncing bet
       
  bouncing bet   bouncing bet
       

Inflorescence

  bouncing bet   bouncing bet
       
  bouncing bet   bouncing bet
       

Flower

  bouncing bet    
       

Leaves

  bouncing bet   bouncing bet
       
  bouncing bet   bouncing bet
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Saponaria officinalis BOUNCING BET
Frank Mayfield
 
  Saponaria officinalis BOUNCING BET  

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       

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Other Videos
 
  Common Soapwort (Saponaria Officinalis) - 2012-09-02
W3stlander
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 5, 2012

Common Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) is a vespertine flower, and a common perennial plant from the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae). Other common names are Bouncing Bet and Sweet William; locally it is simply "the Soapwort" although there are about 20 species of soapworts altogether.

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Het zeepkruid (Saponaria officinalis) is een overblijvende, tot 70 cm hoge plant uit de anjerfamilie (Caryophyllaceae).

   
       

 

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