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Dodonaea

Hop Bush, Hopseed Bush
Sapindaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

Tough shrubs mostly from Australia, although the most common species, Dodonaea viscosa, is native to the American Southwest and Hawaii, as well as to many other parts of the world. All tolerate wind, poor soil, heat. Foliage is finely divided and fernlike in some, undivided in others. Flowers are insignificant, but seedpods are often showy and long lasting.

Dodonaea viscosa ‘Purpurea’ (photo courtesy of San Marcos Growers)
Dodonaea viscosa ‘Purpurea’ (photo courtesy of San Marcos Growers)

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Dodonaea viscosa

Native to many warmer regions, such as Arizona and Hawaii (where it is called ’a’ali’i). Fast-growing shrub with many upright stems; reaches 10–15 ft. tall and spreads almost as wide (can be trained to a tree form by cutting out all but a single stem). Willowlike green leaves to 4 in. long. Inconspicuous flowers are followed in late spring or summer by ornamental, papery seed capsules that may be red, pink, tan, yellow, or green. In Hawaii, the capsules are used in leis.

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