One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tree or shrub with berries that produce a soapy froth when crushed.
a North American shrub with edible berries (Shepherdia canadensis, family Elaeagnaceae).
a plant with saponin-rich berries that are used as a soap substitute (genus Sapindus, family Sapindaceae).
- ‘The closely related soapberry, sometimes also called russet buffaloberry, is S. canadensis.’
- ‘Juniper trees are common throughout the canyon as well as mesquite, cottonwood, salt cedar, willow, western soapberry and hackberry.’
- ‘Streams, although they may flow only intermittently, help support the growth of several trees, among them blue palo verde, mesquite, velvet ash, small-leaved mulberry, netleaf hackberry, and soapberry.’
- ‘The seeds of bristly sarsaparilla, currant, and soapberry lie dormant in the soil and germinate only after being burned; ecologists call the process ‘seed banking.’’
- ‘The most common forms included beech-like trees, poplars, willows, cattails, sumac, soapberry, and conifers such as pines, sequoias, and false cypress.’
- 1.1 The berry of any of the soapberry plants.
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