Soapberry flowers are small and usually whitish, in broad many flowered panicles with 4-5 sepals and petals. Flowers bloom in late spring, and form large, dense, intensely, fragrant terminal clusters.
Soapberry is very tolerant of soils with limited moisture and low fertility.
The drupes, which lather when combined with water, were once used in varnish, floor was, and soap. In some parts of Mexico soapberry is still preferred for washing hair and delicate clothing. As a soap it also has medicinal effects, helping to relieve itching and prevent the spread of various tineas and scalp seborrhea.