Soaproot – (Chlorogalum pomeridianum)

Soaproot – (Chlorogalum pomeridianum)

Here’s another great one that is abundant in the Northstate. This is called soaproot. This plant has wavy leaves and when it comes out of the ground it looks very similar to a corn sprout. This plant has a bulbous root that is covered in fibrous hairs. There are lots of uses for this plant, so it’s definitely a blessing to stumble upon a patch of soaproot in the woods. They can grow in woodlands or chaparral environments. 

These hairs are great for making rope or other cordage. What I don’t use to make rope, I save them to make fire starters. 

If you peel off the hairs, you will find a white bulb underneath. The bulb itself actually has many practical uses as well. The bulb is high in saponins, meaning it can be used to make soap (this plant is called soaproot for a reason after all). Simply squeeze the juice from the bulb and rub it between your hands with some water. 

If you place the bulb next to a fire, the juice will start to ooze out. This juice is more of a concentrated form that can be used as a mid-strength glue. 

If you boil the bulb thoroughly it can also be eaten as a starch. This must be done carefully though, because if you do not boil out all the saponins, it can make some people sick.