Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Dodonaea viscosa:

social icons Facebook Pinterest Instagram

Form: A shrub or small tree.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 12-15' (3.5-4.5m) high and 8-10' (2.5-3m) wide.
Flowers: Small, 0.25" (0.6cm) diameter, greenish-yellow, clustered, male and female are separate, some plants have only one sex, others have both sexes. In close proximity, the plant produces a strong odor when dispersing pollen.
Bloom: Early spring.
Fruit: Small seed capsule with 3-4 papery wings, 3/4" (2cm) wide, turning green to tan.
Leaves: Green, narrow, to 4" (10cm) long, glossy on top, resinous surface, reddish mid-ribs. One variety, 'Purpurea', has purple leaves. This plant provides moderate shade.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: Aggressive. It may rob nearby plants of water.
Wildlife: A habitat for nesting birds and insects. The seeds attract birds.
Toxic / Danger: All parts of the plant are mildly poisonous.
Origin: Australia.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8-11. Young plants are adversely affected by prolonged freezes.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun. Avoid shady locations.
Water once established: Monthly during drought. Supplemental water speeds growth.
Soil: Well drained, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline). This plant is very tolerant of soil types.
Prune: After the last frost, prune to remove freeze damage or to reduce size. It may be shaped as a shrub, or hedge, or trained into a tree.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ornamental, hedge, screen, erosion control.

This plant is a member of the Soapberry family (Sapindaceae). It has become widely naturalized throughout the world, especially in the tropics, sub-tropics and warm temperate regions.

Do you have additional information or a different experience for these plants that you would like to share? Email All contributions are welcome and appreciated.

Dodonaea viscosa: Hopbush - flowers

Dodonaea viscosa: Hopbush - seed capsules

Dodonaea viscosa: Hopbush

Latest update: December, 2023
© 2008-2024 by