In general, Dodonaea viscosa is an extremely hardy species and is able to resprout from the base. The stand-out horticultural feature of this species is the brilliant colour of the capsules.
Dodonaea viscosa flowers are inconspicuous, with no petals. These flowers occur during spring and summer and are less than a centimetre in size. The plants are dioecious; i.e. the flowers are male or female and usually occur on separate plants.
The pollen is wind dispersed. However, fertilisation does not need to occur for the capsules to develop. Fertilised capsules can take up to 11 months to mature with unfertilised capsules maturing faster. Over this time the capsules will change colour from a green or cream colour through to a brilliant red. These winged capsules are only produced on female or bisexual flowers and are approximately 2 cm 2 in size.
Early Settlers used it as a substitute for hops in beer brewing and yeast to make bread. Dodonaea viscosa has also been traditionally used by Indigenous Australians to treat toothache, cuts and stingray stings.
Form: Shrub to 2 Metres High
Aspect: Full Sun
Soil/Conditions: Light / Well-Drained
Description: Open Habit Evergreen Perennial Green wedge or spoon-shaped leaves to 3 cm Small Hop-like flowers in Winter to Spring, Cream / Red fruit in paper membranes on Female plants only.
This species prefers well-drained soils and requires a well-lit area. It can tolerate part shade but the capsules will not be as spectacular in colour if shaded. This species can tolerate dry conditions and can also handle some frosts. Little maintenance is necessary. However, regular tip pruning will promote growth and branching.
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