Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Soap Plant, Amole Lily
Chlorogalum pomeridianum

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chlorogalum (kloh-ROH-gal-um) (Info)
Species: pomeridianum (pom-er-id-ee-AH-um) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Unknown - Tell us

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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1 positive
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral trifoil On May 16, 2014, trifoil from Bootjack, CA wrote:

do not eat the bulbs raw they can be toxic. also do not confuse with death camas, people have mix these up in the past with ill effects.

Positive ogon On Jul 13, 2011, ogon from Paradise, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Soap plants make their appearance in late winter, taking advantage of the rainy season for growth. They survive the heat of California summers without water by sometimes going dormant in late summer or fall. The leaves are attractive and wavy, though some more so than others, and grow in a rosette form from the bulb. They are somewhat variable in color, but those in my area of the Sacramento Vally in Northern California tend to be glacous with a light yellow-green central vein. Blooms appear on tall branched stalks in late spring or early summer in the Sacramento Valley, and mid-summer in the surrounding foothills. They are also variable in color from white to pale purple, with the ones in my area being solid white. Flowers begin to open just before dusk. After they have been open for awhile they emit a soft vanilla-like scent.

I live in a rural area and they grow wild in my front yard. After dark in mid-summer my front yard is pleasantly perfumed by their delicate scent.

Neutral promethean_spar On Jan 18, 2008, promethean_spar from Union City, CA wrote:

These grow wild in my yard and garden, the flowers aren't particularly showy, but they're nicer than some of the weeds that might grow otherwise - and appear to have some useful properties. I've transplanted a few when doing landscaping. They're tough enough to grow in areas with a moderate amount of foot-traffic, and seem to do a good job of preventing erosion on my hillside.

Neutral mystic On Aug 29, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Star-like white 1" flowers with six narrow, purple-veined, recurved petals, in large airy clusters to 1-3 feet tall. The flowers don't open until late in the afternoon.Which got them called 4 o'clocks by some, thus another reason for Latin names.Both the Indians and the early pioneers used it as a soap.They stripped the outer coating from the bulb and used the crushed pulp to wash with. It makes an excellent lather. As a shampoo,it leaves the hair soft and silky. Baking destroys the soapy character of the bulbs, making them edible. The spring shoots are very sweet when cooked. The juice from the baking bulbs makes good glue. Wild pigs like them. They dig them up and eat them.(Or maybe they take a bath with them). The large bulbs are covered with a thick, fibrous, coconut-like husk, which was used for brushes by the Indians.Also used as a poison oak remedy.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bootjack, California
Chico, California
Malibu, California
Mission Viejo, California
Paradise, California
Simi Valley, California
Sunol, California
Auburndale, Florida

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