««« CORANTUS »»»

Nº 26. Friday, December 3, 2010

Sapindaceae

n Bot. Family of dicotyledonous plants, trees or vines, with usually alternate leaves, flowers in spike, with a nectary ring between the stamens and the corolla, and capsular fruit, such as jaboncillo, Sapindus saponaria.

Type genus: Sapindus.

Etymology

From modern Latin Sapindaceae; from Sapindus, name of a plant genus; from Latin sapo, «soap», because the fruit pulp of one of its most representative species contains a soapy substance called saponin, and was once used as soap for washing clothes; and indus, «Indian», because of its American origin (America was initially known as the West Indies); and the Latin suffix -aceae, «-aceous».