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Sapindus mukorossi – Indian Soapberry, Washnut


  • Native to India, this tree produces something very special: the fruits (nuts) have a hard, green then browning coat which if collected and dried, can be used in the washing machine to clean your clothes. Using it as a washnut, perhaps not the dirtiest trousers, but normal, daily used clothes will be clean. It can also be used for restoring and brightening tarnished silverware. The wood is excessively used in India for making furniture, boards, plywood, etc. The powdered seed is a natural insecticide. It can be grown in a large pot in a conservatory or unheated greenhouse, and a trimmed, 2m tall and 1m wide plant may well flower and fruit after about 5 years. The composite, large leaves are decorative and huge flower panicles (made up of small, creamy flowers) appearing in early summer are as equally eye catching. Deciduous, without much autumn colour. 



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