Saponaria officinalis

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JTh

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Saponaria officinalis
« on: November 01, 2017, 01:23:13 PM »
Has anybody tried to grow Saponaria officinalis? A few weeks ago I saw lots of this plant in bloom in some shady areas, almost like a carpet. I thought it was very attractive and I gathered some seeds. All the flowers I have seen in this part of Greece (Halkidiki) were white.
 There is only one brief mentioning of this here  (http://www.mgsforum.org/smf/index.php?topic=2368.msg17380#msg17380) by Hillary and I would like to hear if anybody else has an experience with this plant.


PA057711.jpg Saponaria officinalis
by Jorun Tharaldsen, on Flickr


PA057715.jpg  Saponaria officinalis leaves
by Jorun Tharaldsen, on Flickr

Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

Umbrian

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Re: Saponaria officinalis
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 09:59:53 AM »
This grows along the edges of fields used for growing tobacco in our area although the flowers are always pink. I have always thought it appeared because of the constant irrigation used in the cultivation of tobacco which makes the ditches alongside the fields moist throughout the summer and a rich source of varied plantlife.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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Alisdair

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Re: Saponaria officinalis
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 11:10:26 AM »
We saw a big patch just outside the village of Taxiarchis in northern Greece (on the July lily trip) - wonderful scent. Like John, I thought of it as a garden plant, though this roadside patch seemed cooler and damper than we'd manage in southern Greece. These were pink, too.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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JTh

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Re: Saponaria officinalis
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 11:49:50 AM »
Those I saw were mostly near the banks of a small river, it was quite dry where they were growing, but I thought they may need some moisture. Then I read on several internet sites that it is drought-tolerant, which makes it quite interesting. Those i found near us where not as tall as those in your photo, Alisdair, the leaves were very attractive. Maybe I should give it a try, I have plenty of seeds.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.