Quillaja sapinaria, Chilean Soap Bark Tree

Soap bark tree from Chile is a lush looking evergreen growing to 10-20m. The star-shaped cream flowers are an added bonus.

Other feature of this tree from the Rosaceae family include:

  • good drought tolerance for a tree from the warm, temperate Central Valley of Chile (32-40 Degrees S)
  • frost tolerance to around -10C
  • glossy, green leaves giving a lush, sub tropical feel
  • the bark is used to make soap, hence the name
  • this species makes an excellent dense, somewhat narrow screen or back ground tree to off-set deciduous trees in the front
  • over time this is an upright tree with weeping branches, a little like some evergreen oaks
  • not suitable for a farm windbreak as it has a somewhat shallow root system, better as a creekside or garden specimen
  • makes a very good clipped hedge


Tree shape

Upright, boadly conical

Mature size

Large 12-20m

Growth rate



Ornamental, bark, flowers, leaf texture

Soil type

Well-drained soils poor to good


Dry to moist soils


Oval, shiny, dark green


S. America