from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several bulbous plants of the genus Chlorogalum of western North America, having small white or purple flowers. The edible bulbs of several species, especially C. pomeridianum, produce a soapy lather when crushed.
  • n. Any of various plants having parts used as soap.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. one of several plants used in the place of soap, as the Chlorogalum pomeridianum, a California plant, the bulb of which, when stripped of its husk and rubbed on wet clothes, makes a thick lather, and smells not unlike new brown soap. It is called also soap apple, soap bulb, and soap weed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of several plants whose bulbs serve the purpose of soap; particularly, the Californian Chlorogalum pomeridianum, of the lily family.


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