Dodonaea viscosa

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Dodonaea viscosa
Dodonaea viscosa (Hopbush) W2 IMG 1899.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Dodonaea
Species: D. viscosa
Binomial name
Dodonaea viscosa

Dodonaea viscosa is a species of flowering plant in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae, that has a cosmopolitan distribution in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions of Africa, the Americas, southern Asia and Australasia.



D. viscosa is a shrub growing to 1–3 m (3.3–9.8 ft) tall,[2] rarely a small tree to 9 m (30 ft) tall. The leaves are simple elliptical, 4–7.5 cm (1.6–3.0 in) long and 1–1.5 cm (0.39–0.59 in) broad, alternate in arrangement, and secrete a resinous substance. The flowers are yellow to orange-red and produced in panicles about 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in length. The fruit is a capsule 1.5 cm (0.59 in) broad, red ripening brown, with two to four wings.[3]


Common names[edit]

The common name hopbush is used for D. viscosa specifically but also for the genus as a whole.

Australian common names include: broad leaf hopbush, candlewood, giant hopbush, narrow leaf hopbush, sticky hopbush, native hop bush, soapwood, switchsorrel, wedge leaf hopbush, and native hop.[4]

Additional common names include: ʻaʻaliʻi, as well as ‘a‘ali‘i-ku ma kua and ‘a‘ali‘i ku makani in the Hawaiian language language; akeake (New Zealand); lampuaye (Guam); mesechelangel (Palau); chirca (Uruguay, Argentina); romerillo (Sonora, Mexico); jarilla (Southern Mexico); hayuelo (Colombia); ch'akatea (Bolivia); casol caacol (Seri);[5] ghoraskai (Afghanistan).


The wood is extremely tough and durable, and New Zealand's Māori have used akeake to fashion clubs and other weapons. The Māori name for the shrub, akeake, means "forever and ever".

Native Hawaiians made pou (house posts), laʻau melomelo (fishing lures), and ʻōʻō (digging sticks) from ʻaʻaliʻi wood and a red dye from the fruit.[6]

The cultivar 'Purpurea', with purple foliage, is widely grown as a garden shrub.

The Seri use the plant medicinally.[5]

Subspecies and synonyms[edit]

There are several subspecies as follows:[7]

  • D. viscosa subsp. angustifolia (L.f.) J.G.West
  • D. viscosa subsp. angustissima (DC.) J.G.West
  • D. viscosa subsp. burmanniana (DC.) J.G.West
  • D. viscosa subsp. cuneata (Sm.) J.G.West
  • D. viscosa subsp. mucronata J.G.West
  • D. viscosa subsp. spatulata (Sm.) J.G.West
  • D. viscosa (L.) Jacq. subsp. viscosa

Botanical synonyms

  • D. eriocarpa Sm.
  • D. sandwicensis Sherff
  • D. stenocarpa Hillebr.


  1. ^ "Dodonaea viscosa Jacq.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2006-04-08. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  2. ^ Selvam, V. (2007). "Trees and Shrubs of the Maldives" (PDF). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  3. ^ Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). "ʻAʻaliʻi" (PDF). Common Forest Trees of Hawaii. United States Forest Service. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  4. ^ Robson, P. J. 1993. Checklist of Australian Trees.
  5. ^ a b Felger, R. S. and M. B. Moser, 1985, People of the Desert and Sea. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ.
  6. ^ Medeiros, A. C.; C.F. Davenport; C.G. Chimera (1998). Auwahi: Ethnobotany of a Hawaiian Dryland Forest (PDF). Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 
  7. ^ "Dodonaea viscosa". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 

External links[edit]