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Narrowleaf Soap Plant Back to Plant Page
Chlorogalum angustifolium

Zoom To My AddressZoom To California Estimated Plant Range

About Narrowleaf Soap Plant (Chlorogalum angustifolium) Chlorogalum angustifolium is a species of flowering plant in the lily family known by the common name narrowleaf soap plant. It is native to the Sierra Nevada foothills and inner North Coast Ranges of California, and the mountains of southern Oregon, where it grows in heavy, rocky soils in woodland and on grassy hillsides. This is a perennial wildflower growing from a fibrous bulb a few centimeters wide. It has narrow basal leaves only a few millimeters wide. The flower cluster may be up to 70 centimeters long and is composed of several ephemeral flowers which open in the evening and close by the following morning. Each has six petals about a centimeter long which are white with yellow-green midveins. There are six stamens tipped with large yellow anthers. The fruit is a capsule 1 to 3 millimeters long. The Karuk of northern California used the soapy juice from the crushed bulbs of this plant as a detergent for washing clothes.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.2 in (3 cm)

Flower Color
Yellow, White, Green

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
places with heavy soils

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
9' - 4165'

Annual Precip. ?
12.3" - 52.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.20" - 1.26"

Coldest Month ?
40.2° F - 50.6° F

Hottest Month ?
66.6° F - 76.8° F

Humidity ?
1.21 vpd - 26.30 vpd

Sunset Zones ?
7*, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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