Chlorogalum parviflorum - S.Watson.
Common Name Smallflower Soapplant
Family Hyacinthaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards The bulb contains saponins. Although fairly toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and most of them simply pass straight through. Saponins are found in a number of common foods, including many beans. They are destroyed by thorough cooking[K]. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats Dry open areas of coastal sage scrub from sea level to 800 metres[270].
Range South-western N. America - California.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.


Chlorogalum parviflorum Smallflower Soapplant

Chlorogalum parviflorum Smallflower Soapplant
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of bulb
Chlorogalum parviflorum is a BULB growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

C. divaricatum. Loathoe parviflora.

 Cultivated Beds; East Wall. By. South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Bulb - cooked[105, 161, 177]. A slow baking will remove any soapiness in the taste. The bulbs can be very large and are up to 7cm in diameter[270].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Succeeds in any reasonably good well-drained soil[1, 42]. Prefers a rich well-drained moisture retentive soil[164]. Tolerates partial shade[164]. Dislikes dry soils according to one report[200] but plants grow in dry soils in the wild[71]. Plants are frost hardy but they come into new growth in the autumn and so need to be grown in a warm sheltered position, especially in colder areas of the country[188].
Seed - sow spring or summer 2mm deep in a peat/sand mix. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 months at 15°c, but it can be slow and erratic. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings do not need to be thinned and grow them on in the pot for their first year of growth, giving an occasional liquid feed o ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. When dormant, pot up 3 young bulbs per pot and grow them on for at least another 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the spring[164]. Division of offsets when the bulb dies down in late summer. Larger offsets can be planted out direct into their permanent positions but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on for at least a year in the greenhouse.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Chlorogalum pomeridianumSoap Lily, Wavyleaf soap plant32


Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.
Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Chlorogalum parviflorum  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design

Twiter      Facebook


Content Help
Support Us
Old Database Search
About Us

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.