soap tree aka 'Sapindus Mukorossis' is it available in aus'?

brisbane, Australia

ok friends,

has anyone heard of the soap tree aka 'Sapindus Mukorossis' from india/nepal area?

would be interested to find out if they will grow here (my guess is yes)?

how big they grow?

and are seedling trees available in aus'?


where can the balls be purchased for use in the laundry?


Townsville, Australia(Zone 10a)

Hi Len,

You got me stumped as I have never heard off it:)

brisbane, Australia

right annette68,

we in the same boat hey.

i have googled up and down and all over the place until i was blue in the face, got lots of french gibberish stuff about it and lots of almost nothing anywhere else well nothing that say yes you can buy the nuts and or trees in aus'

someone on e-bay is selliung a powdered from from g.b.

here is a link to that product:

did find out the lychee nut was related to it.

and otehr common names:

chinese soapberry
soap nut
soap nut tree


townsville, Australia

Hi Len,
I have never heard of this either but would very interested to find out more, are the balls a flowering part of the tree and how are they used in the laundry?

brisbane, Australia

g'day annette & tropical,

this is the information that has been found following my ask on other forums:

initially my enquiries where for its use as a laundry detergent, and along with eco' friendly and sustainable was thinking one may be able to grow one's own laundry soap? there is a powdered form available online in aus' (one of the links features that supplier - they ae currently out of stock). i sells for around $10 per 500 gram pack. but you only need one heaped teaspoon per wash load.

so at this stage we most likley will buy some, but look further into the australian bush that does the same/similar.

here are the soapnut links:

then the aussie' alternative:

and soapwort reported as a weed or potential weed (big draw back - pretty flower but they say):


Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

len,I have a copy of the Aussie Plant Finder for 2002, which lists nurseries stocking individual plants from all over Australia.
It is a few years out of date, but it does list one nursery in Australia that stocks Sapindus mukorossis.
The nursery is in NSW and is listed as:
Hazelwood Gardens,
Ferguson Crescent,
Mittagong, NSW 2575
Tel: (02) 4872 2458
Contact: Joanne Rayner
email: [email protected]
mail order: Yes, but not to WA or TAS


Townsville, Australia(Zone 10a)


You are a genius with how you cut throuh the slack to get to the object.

Good on ya:)


brisbane, Australia

thanks ken,

that is copied.


Fuzhou, China

Hi friends.

We are pleased to introduce our company to you. Our company is one of the largest exporters for soapnuts in China. Soapnuts can be used for washing without pollution. It is a friendly and environmental natural products.

We can supply you soapnuts, soapnuts liquid and soapnut oil with good quality . Please kindly let me know if you are interested in any of our products. Please find the price FOB Fuzhou, China:

Soapnut: 1550USD/Ton

Sopanut liquid: 4350USD/Ton

Soapnut oil:7800USD/Ton

If any of you is interested in our products, please feel free to contact me.

Best regards.



Email: [email protected], [email protected]



Thumbnail by sunnywang
se qld, Australia

Len, Jan in Victoria has used the soap balls and would be able to tell you where to get them.

Gisborne, New Zealand

I had never heard of a soap tree until yesterday, I was browsing the seed section on Trade Me and there were soap tree seeds for sale..
Apparently the lather is inside the seeds and if planted the tree will grow to about 27ft tall which is a bit large for my little yard so that was
where my interest ended.. Now today I find a query on here.. (Small world eh).

Nowra, NSW,, Australia(Zone 9b)

If you're ever in Sydney there is a very beautiful old one near the Henry Lawson Gate in the Royal Botanic Gardens.......

Barmera, Australia

You might be interested in Saponaria officinalis it is an European plant naturalised in Southern Australia. Other natural detergent plants are; Albizzia lopantha a WA native but widely cultivated, Cayratia saponaria a climber from Qld, Entada phaseoloides another climber from Qld,Ganophyllum falcatum a tree from Qld, Jagera pseudorus Qld and NSW and Pittosporum revolutum the leaves are used. This information has come from "Useful Wild Plants in Australia" by AB & JW Cribb. The book is getting a bit old now so some of the plant names may have changed but usefulness won't have.
You might already know, but I didn't, that any plant that contains the substance saponin can be used as a detergent and has been commercially in some cases.
Hope this is of help to you and would be interested to hear of any successes.

This message was edited Jan 2, 2009 7:41 PM

Jensen Beach, FL
-Hirth(?)- @ 2.99 for 10 seeds.....
Chinese Soapberry Tree seeds
I would love a rooted cutting or a small tree.....or seeds....for zone 9-10

Bomaderry, Australia

The phone number for hazelwood gardens seems to be a fax line :-(

Sydney, Australia

hi nmitchell, did you see the age of this thread ?
long since gone probably.


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