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Wanted: Soap Nut Tree

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Sarah starts with ...
Hi, We have been trying to locate a Soap Nut tree ( also known as Ritha Nut and Chinese Soapbery) in Australia and haven't been able to find one. Does anyone know where we could buy one from?? We live in the subtropics and have heard that they grow well in that climate.
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SE Queensland
21st February 2011 8:24am
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fruitist says...

http://www.soapnuts.co.nz/Plant-a-SoapNut-Tree%7C%7Clearn-how-to-grow-your-own-soap/Soapnuts/Grow-a-Soapberry-Tree-SAPINDUS-saponaria.html

On the left panel is the seeds link. Click on it. The saponaria sopecies is one of the 2 species permitted by ICON. The real mccoy mukorossi from India not permitted.

I think I have seen another of its close relatives in FNQ, one of the rarest plant and considered a holy grail by plant collectors.

BJ, if you are thinking of buying the 5 pack saponaria, please let me know.
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21st February 2011 9:40am
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micarle says...

There is a very large old Sapindus mukorossi in the syd Botanic garden. It is located just inside the Henry Lawson gate!
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micarle
Kurrajong Heights, NSW
21st February 2011 10:06am
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fruitist says...
Hi Micarle, thanks for the info. Any chance to look around under the tree and collect some seeds for a poor collector? Or the Friends have got some seedlings?
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21st February 2011 10:18am
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micarle says...
I'm in my office as we speak, sitting next to the head arborist!!! He seems to think it has never had any nuts on it?? Could it be diecious?? I will go out now and see what i can find!!
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micarle
Kurrajong Heights, NSW
21st February 2011 10:21am
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fruitist says...
Flowers are either male or female but both on the same tree. Very hot in Sydney, same here in Brisbane.
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21st February 2011 10:24am
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fruitist says...
Or someone with itchy skin, dirty clothes and lice infected dandruffed hairs been collecting the fruits.
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21st February 2011 10:32am
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speedy says...
I checked that tree last year for any signs that it may have fruited or flowered.
...couldn't see any.
It could be worth attempting to graft to another Sapindus species to secure it
in case another individual can be found to exchange pollen with.
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Speedy
Northern Vic.
24th February 2011 10:30pm
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micarle says...
Yeah i've had a good look around for some seed, but there isn't any. I also spoke with the horts and arb team they have all seen it flower and there are old flower stems on the tree atm but no seeds!. i'm saving some cash to set up a heated/fog bench in a glasshouse so i can do some prop..
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micarle
Kurrajong Heights, NSW
25th February 2011 10:04am
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Original Post was last edited: 25th February 2011 10:08am
fruitist says...
Thanks Speedy and Micarle for your info and help. I will ask my FNQ friends to see if they have the trees.

Micarle, when you set up your heated bench in the glasshouse, please don't forget to propagate some Lindera glauca cuttings.
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25th February 2011 2:26pm
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micarle says...
Mate i haven't forgoten!!!!!!!
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micarle
Kurrajong Heights, NSW
25th February 2011 3:06pm
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BJ says...
There are some seeds on the eBay now...
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Theposterformerlyknownas
Brisbane
3rd April 2011 8:32pm
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micarle says...
I think Tradewinds have three different ssp
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micarle
Kurrajong Heights, NSW
4th April 2011 6:44am
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krazykangaroo says...
You can't import them so you have to find a seed supplier in Aus.
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krazykangaroo1
Casterton, vic
4th April 2011 11:41am
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micarle says...
You can import some, Just not all of them!
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micarle
Kurrajong Heights, NSW
4th April 2011 1:05pm
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epiphany says...
As an aside, are the seeds you sometimes find in the soapnuts you can buy online for laundry purposes, etc, viable? I sometimes find them when I use them...
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epiphany2
Melbourne
4th April 2011 1:31pm
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kert says...
A cheap fogger would be humidifier/inhaler used medically for croup available at better pharmacies for $25.
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4th April 2011 1:31pm
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micarle says...
For germination???
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micarle
Kurrajong Heights, NSW
4th April 2011 3:20pm
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BJ says...
The eBay supplier is in Lismore...
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Theposterformerlyknownas
Brisbane
4th April 2011 3:24pm
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kert says...
Not for germination, Micarle ;use a vaporizer for cuttings eg blueberries.
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5th April 2011 8:46am
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micarle says...
Oh yeah i see what your saying!! I'm going to put some cutting on bottom heat very soon! I think they should strike very easy, see what happens
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micarle
Kurrajong Heights, NSW
5th April 2011 9:58am
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amanda says...
Jantina did u ever track down any soap nut seeds? Did anyone?
I jsut tried them for the first time and they actually worked...!?
How great would it be to be able to grow them ourselves and be free of commercial washing powders..?
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amanda19
Leschenault (160kms south of Perth)
10th October 2012 11:02pm
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Jantina says...
I gave up on those Amanda because all the info seemed to indicate that it needed a much more tropical climate than I can provide, sigh, we can have a lot but maybe not everything!
I think there is another tree someone told me about but no luck tracking down seed yet.
How goes the new place? happy with your decision to move?
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Jantina
Mt Gambier
13th October 2012 12:07pm
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Rabindra says...
Hello ,
If you like we can send you seed and you can try for its germination. We can send you plant too but its late. It will be easy to send the newly germinated plant inJuly.Please suggest.
Thanks
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Rabindra
Nepal
23rd November 2012 1:12am
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Jowna says...
Hey guys!
Been reading all your comments - I'm after a soap tree too! Just tried out their pods as detergent and I'm tickled pink! I live in the nt and have plenty of acerage to plant some, just need to get my hands on some seeds of seedlings while I'm in NSW so I can take it home - takes 2-3 wks to post from the easy coast back home!

So.... Any sellers? :)
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Jowna
Darwin
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Ki says...
I would also love to grow a soapnut tree so can we source seeds or seedlings in Australia and if so where and from whom?
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Ki
Tamborine Mountain
24th February 2017 4:10pm
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Corins says...
Hi guys, any luck on Soap nut, tree or seeds?? Im desperate for one also.
Cheers
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Corins
YARRAWONGA
28th August 2017 3:59pm
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Ki says...
After one disastrous attempt to buy seeds from overseas which were destroyed by Quarantine I asked them which ones were allowed to be imported. These are Sapindus Saponaria and I bought 2 packets very inexpensively from Trade Winds Fruit online. I haven't germinated them yet but fingers crossed in some years I may be harvesting my own Soapberry.
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Ki
Tamborine Mountain
31st August 2017 2:54pm
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Corins says...
Keep us posted!!
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Corins
YARRAWONGA
1st September 2017 9:06am
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BroJoe1 says...
Hi Ki

I am a (committee) member of the Tamborine Sustainable Gardener's Society, but I live a Logan Village.

Did you get and germinate the soapnut seeds?

Do they have a thick shell like the Indian soapnuts, which may need to be scarified (pierced)?

best wishes
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BroJoe1
WATERFORD,4133,QLD
18th November 2017 6:51pm
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soapnuts says...
I have a tree I usually harvest from in Brisbane every year. It has about 1-300 nuts a year.

Soapnuts
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soapnuts
Kuranda
19th August 2019 7:49pm
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Lauran says...
Are we able to get nuts off you or some germinated seedlings by any chance?

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Lauran
4504
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John Mc says...
There's a lady selling 2kg's on our Marketplace for $55. I've sent her a message to find out what variety. I have no idea of viability for growing purposes.
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JohnMc1
Wallarah
6th September 2019 7:47am
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John Mc says...
The seller tells me they are the mukorossi variety. Can anyone tell me viability of them?
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JohnMc1
Wallarah
8th September 2019 9:07am
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Lauran says...
Thanks, John for this.
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Lauran
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Rochelle says...
Hey Guys,

Did anyone manage to get hold of some seeds that they wouldn't mind sharing?
I am over in Kununurra at the top end of W/A and looking to grow something like this.
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Rochelle
Kununurra
9th October 2019 3:45pm
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Clarekr says...
Hi soapnuts, do you have viable seeds of the soapnut tree? Iā€™d love to grow some
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Clarekr
Yungaburra
13th December 2019 8:22am
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Holly@preciousplasticnr says...
Soapnuts can I come and see you in brisbane!?
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Holly@preciousplasticnr
Southport
13th January 2020 4:04pm
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treesplease says...
@soapnuts, I am in Brisbane. Is there any chance I could get some viable soapnut seeds? I would be happy to pay (a reasonable amount) :)
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treesplease
Tingalpa 4173 QLD Australia
6th December 2020 12:43pm
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AmandaPotter says...
Hello Everyone šŸ‘‹

Loved reading this thread !

I live in Western Sydney NSW and looking to buy a seedling.

Just wondering how everyone went on their journey
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AmandaPotter
WHALAN 2770 NSW Australia
12th February 2021 7:42pm
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snowwflake says...
Hi everyone,

Just wondering how you are going with the soapnuts - did anyone sprout the seeds and get seedlings? I'm in Adelaide and would love to have a soap nut tree. Thorougly confused though about the varieties of Sapindus - which one would suit a hot and dry summer and relatively cold and wet winter (down to 0 deg). Any help available on that?

Thank you, Maja
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snowwflake
BLAKEVIEW,5114,SA
6th October 2021 7:37pm
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Linton says...
Hello there nice to meet you regarding your question about growing soap nut trees in Adelaide.

I can tell you that the Chinese Soap Nut, Sapindus mukorossi grows easily in Melbourne although it is naturally deciduous so it loses all of its leaves in winter which quickly grow back at the end of winter. The tree then grows rapidly over the warmer months. S. mukorossi pictured with new spring foliage.

Two things to consider, firstly they don't like soggy soil so they may perish if your soil is too wet over winter. But they do like hot summers and do best in full sun. Secondly, they might never produce the berries in Victoria or S.A. and I don't know anyone in Melbourne who have mukorossi trees that have ever fruited.

My suggestion would be to grow the closely related Western Soap Nut, Sapindus saponaria which may be more likely to produce soap berries in our southern regions than it's Chinese counterpart. It has been suggested that S.saponaria might be slightly more cold hardy and it is definitely drought hardy once established so it should suit your conditions in S.A.

I hope I can get one of these trees to produce some soap nuts soon as I am waiting to have a nice soapy wash. Yours Soapily....
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Linton
NOBLE PARK,3174,VIC
8th October 2021 11:09am
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snowwflake says...
Hi Linton,

Thank you for your quick reply! That's a very healthy looking little tree you have there. And then I clicked on your other pictures, and wow, you have a mind-boggling collection... I still consider myself a newbie (after about 5 years in the gardening game), albeit a thoroughly gardening-bug-bitten one, lol.

Now I have more questions:
1. Do you have a S. saponaria growing?
2. If yes, where did you get the seeds/seedlings from?
3. Is it still too young to bear fruit?
4. Do you know anyone else who has (had) a fruiting Sapindus in a climate similar to mine or yours?

In the interim I contacted Matt from Trade Winds, and he confirmed that S. s. should be more cold hardy, but of the four species they sell (mukorossi, saponaria, drummondii, trifoliatus) they unfortunately only have mukorossi available at the moment. From the little research I have been able to do, drummondii should be best for climates like ours. But I'm not sure if it's as high in saponins as mukorossi and saponaria - does anyone know? And where to get it is the other pesky problem...

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snowwflake
BLAKEVIEW,5114,SA
9th October 2021 7:48am
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Linton says...
Coming back to your further questions I dont grow S saponaria yet but still working on it. I think that only S. mukorossi is grown in Australia so seeds of the other species would need to be sourced from one of the overseas sellers. Just need to ascertain which one is a quality supplier that can comply with all of the import requirements like commercial packaging, phyto, etc.

The Mukorossi tree I am growing is still far too young to produce fruit and like I said previously I don't know of anyone in Australia who has any Sapindus tree that has fruited. One advantage of S. saponaria, Maja, is that it seems to be a smaller tree than mukorossi which can get quite large.

Thanks for listening.
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Linton
NOBLE PARK,3174,VIC
13th October 2021 9:38am
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snowwflake says...
Ki further up in the thread said he/she was able to import the saponaria seeds from Trade Winds. Would be great to find out whether they germinated/grew... Ki?

Googling further I found a Spanish supplier who sells 1 year old saponaria trees - not that that's any help to us because of distance and quarantine, of course. But the interesting thing was they said it is easy to grow and suits a Mediterranean climate. So Adelaide (and I guess Melbourne as well?) would be fine to grow these.
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snowwflake
BLAKEVIEW,5114,SA
14th October 2021 8:27am
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