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Dodonaea viscosa - (L.)Jacq.

Common Name Native Hops, Florida hopbush, Hopseed Bush, Varnish Leaf, Hopbush, Narrow-leaf hopbush, Wedge-leaf h
Family Sapindaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The leaves are slightly cyanogenic[152]. They are also said to contain saponins[181]. Although quite toxic, saponins are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problems. Saponins can be found in a number of common foods such as some types of beans. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats Rocky, stony or sandy soils in the montane zone of Victoria[154]. On dry slopes, in fields and sandy soils by the coast in China[266].
Range Tropical and sub-tropical regions of Asia, Australia, New Zealand and N. America.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Dodonaea viscosa Native Hops, Florida hopbush, Hopseed Bush, Varnish Leaf, Hopbush, Narrow-leaf hopbush, Wedge-leaf h

Dodonaea viscosa Native Hops, Florida hopbush, Hopseed Bush, Varnish Leaf, Hopbush, Narrow-leaf hopbush, Wedge-leaf h


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Bloom Color: Green, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Early spring, Late summer, Late fall, Late spring, Mid summer, Mid fall, Mid spring. Soil Condition: Acidic, Alkaline, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Slightly alkaline, Well drained.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Dodonaea viscosa is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). . The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


D. attenuata. A.Cunn.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed
Edible Uses: Condiment

Seed[177, 183]. No further details are given. The bitter fruits are a substitute for hops and yeast in making beer[177, 181, 183]. The chewed leaves are said to be stimulating[177, 183] but they contain saponins[181] and are also said to be slightly cyanogenic[152] so their use is not very advisable.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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Anodyne  Diaphoretic  Febrifuge  Odontalgic  Vulnerary

The leaves are anodyne, astringent, diaphoretic, febrifuge (the var. angustissima is normally used[152]), odontalgic and vulnerary[152, 238]. They are applied internally in the treatment of fevers[238]. Externally, they are used to treat toothache, sore throats, wounds, skin rashes and stings[238, 257]. The leaves are apparently effective in the treatment of toothache if they are chewed without swallowing the juice[238]. The bark is employed in astringent baths and poultices[240].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge  Tannin  Wood

The leaves contain up to 18% tannin[238]. Plants are very tolerant of pruning and make a good hedging plant for windy sites[188, 240]. Wood - heavy, tough, resistant. Used for wedges, hammers, turnery, inlay, cabinets etc[154].

Special Uses

Hedge  Hedge

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Pest tolerant, Hedge, Screen, Standard, Superior hedge, Specimen. Requires a light well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Succeeds in almost any fertile soil and in a hot dry position. Resists drought, salt winds and (atmospheric?) pollution[200]. Plants are very wind hardy but are not resistant to frost[166]. They tolerate temperatures down to about -7°c in Australian gardens[157], but are damaged at about 3°c in British gardens[200]. One report says that they succeed outdoors in the mildest gardens in Britain[182]. Plants are growing very well in pots in a polyhouse on our trial grounds in south Cornwall, but they have not survived in the open ground[K]. Our seed source was from Australia, other provenances might be more hardy[K]. Plants are difficult to transplant when they are more than 60 centimetres tall[200]. Polymorphic, there are a number of sub-species[154, 157]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[K]. The seed is slow to germinate according to one report[200], but it germinated in 3 weeks in a cold greenhouse with us[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a fairly sunny part of the greenhouse for at least their first winter. If trying them outdoors, then plant them out in early summer of their second or third year's growth after the last expected frosts and give them some protection from the cold for their next winter or two[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[188].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Norman Mangnall   Thu Aug 28 2008

A global map of the distribution is found in the American Journal of Botany, vol.90 issue #4. Interesting that it is not found in N Africa or the Mediterranean.

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Subject : Dodonaea viscosa  
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