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soapwort

[sohp-wurt, -wawrt] /ˈsoʊpˌwɜrt, -ˌwɔrt/
noun
1.
a plant, Saponaria officinalis, of the pink family, whose leaves are used for cleansing.
Also called bouncing Bet, bouncing Bess.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; soap + wort2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for soap-wort

soapwort

/ˈsəʊpˌwɜːt/
noun
1.
a Eurasian caryophyllaceous plant, Saponaria officinalis, having rounded clusters of fragrant pink or white flowers and leaves that were formerly used as a soap substitute Also called bouncing Bet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for soap-wort

soapwort

any of several plants of the genus Saponaria (about 40 species), in the pink family (Caryophyllaceae). While most are weedy, a few are cultivated, especially the trailing species S. ocymoides, with several varieties having pink to deep-red flower clusters. Bouncing Bet (S. officinalis), reaching to a height of 1 metre (3 feet), is widely naturalized in eastern North America. Its roots have been used medicinally, and its sap is a substitute for soap.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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