Chlorogalum pomeridianum (DC.) Kunth
Wavyleaf Soap Plant, Wavyleaf Soap-plant
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
USDA Symbol: CHPO3
Delicate, star-like, white flowers in a large, freely and openly branched cluster.
By day this plant appears ungainly, the branches stark and unattractive, but toward evening, or on cloudy days, the delicate flowers open, resembling thistledown caught among the twigs. Native Americans crushed the plant's bulbs and added water to produce a lather for cleaning clothing and baskets. They also roasted bulbs to produce a substance used to glue feathers to arrow shafts and to treat rashes caused by Poison Oak.
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Bloom InformationBloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: CA , OR
Native Distribution: Southwestern Oregon south to southern California.
Native Habitat: Dry open hills and plains, often in open brush or woods.
BenefitUse Food: Young leaves consumed by Native Americans.
Use Medicinal: Crushed bulbs applied to rashes from Poison Ivy.
Use Other: Native Americans crushed the plants' bulbs and added water to produce a lather for cleaning clothing and baskets, also using the liquid as a fish poison. They roasted the bulbs to produce a substance used to glue feathers to arrow shafts. Fibers were extracted from older bulb sheaths to make bristles for brushes.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 1218 - Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources (2006) Anderson, M. Kat
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Chlorogalum pomeridianum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Chlorogalum pomeridianum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Chlorogalum pomeridianum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2008-10-19
Research By: TWC Staff