Sapindus laurifolius Vahl
Sapindus trifoliatus is an evergreen tree with a dense, broad crown; it can grow up to 25 metres tall[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its seed, which is used medicinally and as a source of saponins. The seeds are very widely used and are sold in quantity in markets. It is often cultivated for these seeds[
E. Asia - Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of the lowland tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 500 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 32 - 40°c, but can tolerate 10 - 47°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about 2°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 500 - 2,500mm[
Prefers a position in full sun[
]. Very tolerant of a wide range of well-drained soils, including those that are dry, stony and nutrient deficient[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 6.5, tolerating 5.5 - 7[
The fruit is rich in saponins. It is used as a substitute for soap in washing clothes, particularly delicate and natural fabrics[
]. It is also used for removing the tarnish from, and restoring, silver objects.
The wood is hard. It is used for making various small articles[
]. The root, bark and fruit are used in native medicine;
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