A tropical Indian tree best-known for its grape-sized fruits which can be used as a detergent. The fruits contain a high amount of saponin and when added to water, suds up just like your household laundry detergent!
A semi-deciduous tropical tree that can reach up to 50-60ft, though many specimens remain shorter. Leaves are arranged in leaflets, with up to 10 pairs per leaf. Fruits grow to 1-1 1/2" and ripen to a yellow-orange color. Each fruit contains a single large, hard-shelled seed.
Exact hardiness unknown. Some of its near relatives survive freezes, but this tropical native is probably not hardy to hard freezes or prolonged frosts.
Grow in full sun. Provide regular water, particularly during warm months. Grow in well-drained soil.
By seeds. Seeds should be soaked in lukewarm water for 24hrs prior to planting. Seeds typically germinate in several weeks to a few months.
Dried fruits are used as soap. In recent years the dried fruits have been marketed for washing clothes. A couple of them added to a load of laundry in the washing machine works much like your favorite detergent.
Native to Asia, concentrated in parts of India.