Soapwort is perennial in the carnation family that is native to Europe and Asia and now naturalized in North America. An attractive plant, soapwort is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental. In its natural woodland settings, soapwort can become prolific to the point of becoming invasive and may trespass into neighboring landscapes.
Also known as Bouncing-Bet, Latherwort and Lady’s Washbowl, the leaf and root of the plant contain soap-like compounds called saponins. Liquid soap can be made by boiling the fresh leaves in water. A natural soap liquid can also be made by combining powdered soapwort root with water and, if desired, a few drops of essential oil for fragrance and added antimicrobial benefits.