top of page


Alphitonia excelsa

Plant Family


Alternative Common Names

Soap tree

The tree reaches a height of 7–25 metres, and 5–10 metres wide. It has a spreading shade-producing habit when a larger tree with an overall greyish green appearance. The trunk and larger branches bear fissured grey bark, while smaller branches have smoother grey or white bark.

Leaves - alternate 5–14 cm in length and 2–5 cm wide and are dark glossy green above and silvery with fine hairs underneath. When young shoots are bruised, they give off a typical odour of sarsaparilla.

Flowers - small greenish white, fragrant in the evening.

Fruit – after flowering globular dark fruit around 1.5 cm in diameter, which contain two seeds.

Flowering - late autumn and early winter.


In scrub and open forest, often in sheltered gullies or on steep slopes.


bottom of page