Definition of quillaia in English:


Pronunciation /kwɪˈleɪə/


(also quillaja)
  • Any of various South American trees constituting the genus Quillaja (family Rosaceae); especially the soapbark tree, Q. saponaria, of the Chilean and Peruvian Andes; (in form Quillaja) the genus itself. Also: the saponin-rich inner bark of this tree or an extract made from it, used as a substitute for soap, a food additive, etc.


Mid 19th century; earliest use found in John Lindley (1799–1865), botanist and horticulturist. From scientific Latin Quillaja, genus name (G. I. MolinaSaggio sulla storia naturale del Chili 354; also as Quillaia, Quillaya) from Mapuche quillai + scientific Latin -a.