Morphological Characteristics of Sapindus Species

  • Reetika Singh
  • Bechan Sharma


Sapindus species belongs to the Sapindaceae family. Sapindus is medium-to-large size, deciduous tree and few species of Sapindus exist as shrub too. This tree is an important forest tree species. Sapindus is commonly known as soapberry and soapnut because the fruits are acting as natural detergent and are used to make soap. All the species have some characteristic morphological features, but some basic features are similar in all species. Sapindus species occupies a noteworthy place of high medicinal and economical value due to being a rich source of saponins. Generally, Sapindus tree usually grows up to a height of 12–25 m, but sometimes it attains a height 18–35 m with 1.8 m girth; however, height of tree differs in various species. The bark of this plant is dark to pale yellow, fairly smooth, having many vertical lines of lenticels and fine fissures exfoliating in irregular wood scales. Leaves are compound, 30–50 cm long, alternate, paripinnate and having 5–10 pair leaflets, opposite or alternate. Flowers are about 5 mm across, polygamous, greenish white, subsessile, numerous, mostly bisexual with five sepals. Fruits are globose, fleshy, usually one-seeded drupe, sometimes two drupels together, about 1.8–2.5 cm across. Seeds are globose, smooth, black and loosely present in dry fruit. During ripening, fruit colour changes from yellow orange to dark brown.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reetika Singh
    • 1
  • Bechan Sharma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia

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