Soap Berry Seeds, Buffaloberry
(Shepherdia canadensis) Zones 2 - 7. Small deciduous shrub.
One reason WE are excited about growing Soap Berry / Buffaloberry is because of this plant's high saponin content, ei. its soap-sudsy quality.
Like so many of you, we are doing what we can to use natural products in our day-to-day lives. Soap Berries from the Sapindus Mukorrosi tree (native to the Himalayas) have become increasingly popular with Westerners hoping to replace their synthetic dish soap and laundry detergents. But historically, with increasing demand for an "exotic" item, comes increasing exploitation of the land and people who live where said item is naturally found. Think sugarcane, oil palms, diamonds, coconuts, etc...
Soap Berry / Buffaloberry will grow right here in Canada, where it grows naturally. Hardy to zone 2, Buffaloberry grows in a variety of soils and actually helps to improve soil health in disturbed areas. As a non-legume nitrogen fixer, Buffaloberry will thrive where other shrubs won't.
Buffaloberry has a long history as a Winter food in western Indigenous communities. The vitamin rich berries are gathered, dried and incorporated in a multitude of recipes.
** Germination: 60 - 80%