Dodonaea viscosa: is a member of the Sapindaceae family. Hop Bush is the common name of the genus. Early settlers, in Australia, used the winged fruits, of some species, as a substitute for hops in beer making.Plants
Dodonaea viscosa is an erect, medium shrub with sticky leaves. The flowers* are insignificant but the three or four-winged capsules are an eye-catching feature. The capsules may be green, purplish, deep pink or red. For some reason honey bees are attracted to the insignificant male flowers.
Annual pruning will keep plants bushy and increase capsule production.
Dodonaea viscosa has a large number of subspecies. No doubt in the fullness of time some subspecies will be given species status. Dodonaea viscosa has a very wide distribution and is found in all Australian states, Lord Howe Island and South Africa.
Dodonaea viscosa occurs naturally on Yallaroo. Since the removal of stock this Hop Bush has regenerated in large numbers. The capsules, on our plants, range in colour from green to red. The photograph is of one of our colourful specimens. Our subspecies is probably angustifolia.
This species is an excellent hedge or screening plant.
Dodonaeas are not common in cultivation but there are many species with great horticultural potential.
Propagate from seed or cuttings. The seeds have hard coats and should be soaked in boiling water before sowing.
Cuttings strike readily. Forms with colourful capsules should be propagated from cuttings to preserve the capsule colour.
*See Dodonaea boroniifolia for a description of the confused sex life of Hop Bushes.