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Plant Informational Database

Soapbark Tree

Quillaja saponaria

a.k.a. Soap Bark Tree, Quillaia, Killaya

Medium sized ornamental tree grown for its flowers and ethnobotanical properties.

Seed Availability

Seeds are not available for the Soapbark Tree. Please visit our seed store to view current selections. Seeds were last available in March 2016.


Medium sized tree to 25-50ft. White or yellow flowers form en masse during warm months, followed by multi-lobed, dry fruit.


It is cold tolerant, withstanding temperatures to around 15F.

Growing Environment

The tree is highly drought resistant, although it flowers better with regular water. The soapbark tree is also tolerant of poor soils.


By seeds.


The soapbark tree has numerous uses. The tree attracts beneficial insects, including lady bugs, and its planting is often promoted for the home gardener because of this. The tree is also hugely important medicinally and industrially, as its bark contains saponin compounds, a type of soap, which has a number of medicinal properties, as well as uses in the biological research industry. The plant is not directly edible, but was used historically as an anti-inflammatory, and for anti-microbial properties.

Native Range

Native to Chile.

Additional Pictures


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