Stem. - Rather stout, swollen at the joints. Leaves. - Oval, opposite. Flowers. - Pink or white, clustered. Calyx. - Of five united sepals. Corolla. - Of five pinkish, long-clawed petals (frequently the flowers are double). Stamens. - Ten. Pistil. - One, with two styles.
A cheery pretty plant is this with large, rose-tinged flowers which are especially effective when double.
Bouncing Bet is of a sociable turn and is seldom found far from civilization, delighting in the proximity of farm-houses and their belongings, in the shape of children, chickens, and cattle.
Plate LXX. Bouncing Bet. - S. officinalis
She comes to us from England, and her "feminine comeliness and bounce" suggest to Mr. Burroughs a Yorkshire housemaid. The generic name is from sapo - soap, and refers to the lather which the juice forms with water, and which is said to have been used as a substitute for soap.