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Tree Handbook

Western Soapberry

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Montezuma Baldcypress
Texas Sabal Palm
Black Willow
Coyote Willow
Live Oak
Granjeno
Sugar Hackberry
Cedar Elm
Texas Ebony
Tenaza
Texas Huisache
Wright's Catclaw
Guajillo
Tepeguaje
Honey Mesquite
Retama
Texas Paloverde
Mescal Bean
Guayacan
Jopoy
Colima
Western Soapberry
Brasil
Coma Del Sur
Chapote
Rio Grande Ash
Anacahuita
Anacua

WESTERN SOAPBERRY Jaboncillo
Sapindus drummondii - Sapindaceae, Soapberry Family

DESCRIPTION: 
  • Medium-sized, broad-leafed tree with rounded crown.

  • Height: 10-50 feet.

  • Flowers: White, long-lasting; April-May. Fruit: Amber, round, fleshy berry with a large brown seed. 

  • Foliage: Deciduous; yellow-green leaves turning yellow in autumn.

  • Bark: Rough, grayish or tan, flaking. Growth rate: Moderately fast.

REQUIREMENTS:
  • Sun: Partial shade to full sun.

  • Soil: Any.

  • Drainage: Well-drained soil.

  • Water.- Low; drought tolerant.

  • Maintenance. Relatively free of disease and insect pests.
    Propagation: Scarified, stratified seed.

NATIVE HABITAT: 

Wooded area near river or resaca.

WILDLIFE USE: 

Fruit eaten by birds-, cover, nest sites.

COMMENTS: 

Poisonous fruit; fruit used as shampoo and detergent; used to suppress fevers and treat kidney disorders; seeds used for rosaries, necklaces, buttons; fruit used (like rotenone) to stun fish. Excellent as shade tree; numerous in street-side plantings in every city from Rio Grande City to Uvalde; wood yellow; provides best fall color change in Valley.

 

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