This species gets its name from the soapy result of grinding the root in a little water. The whole plant was used by Indians. The fruit, stems and flowers could be cooked and eaten, with emphasis on could. The leaves had many uses, including brushes, woven items like mats, cording, and padding. Parts of the plant found many medicinal uses, including a decoction of the root to prevent baldness. Something else I can try the next time west!