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Pest Information

Bouncing Bet

Bouncing Bet

  • Latin Name: Saponaria Officinalis
  • Common Name: Bouncing Bet
  • Other Names: Soapwort, bouncing Betty

Pest Details

Bouncing Bet
Bouncing Bet
Bouncing Bet

Origin:

Introduced from Europe as a garden plant, and now found throughout the United States and southern Canada, often as an escape along roadsides or in disturbed lots.

Biology:

A perennial that reproduces from seeds. Foliage will die back in colder climates in the winter, with regrowth from the roots and from surviving stems. It has a very rapid growth and will form large, bushy plants that may crowd out more desirable vegetation. The plant is slightly toxic but is rarely fed upon by livestock.

Identification:

Mature plants are upright and extensively branched, with numerous stems that will grow to 3 feet in height. The stems are thick and strong, and the nodes are noticeably swollen. Leaves are opposite, lance-shaped to around 3 inches long, and they have 3 distinct veins running from the base to the tip. Leaf edges are slightly curled or wavy. The flowers occur in groups of up to a dozen or more at the ends of the stems, with white to pinkish petals that are notched at the tip. The five petals are fused to form a long, cylindrical tube that is within the green to violet-red calyx.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Physical removal may be effective, although underground parts can be capable of re-growth. A non-selective or selective systemic herbicide will control the plant where necessary.

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