Ajuntament de Barcelona

Dodonaea viscosa

Joan Brossa Garden

    Catalan name: 
    Dodonea comuna
    Spanish name: 
    Dodonea común
    English name: 
    Native hops
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Dodonaea eriocarpa, Dodonaea sandwicensis, Dodonaea stenocarpa, Dodonaea angustifolia
    Species characteristics
    South Africa
    Tropical, subtropical and temperate areas

    Perennial shrub 1-3 m tall, although occasionally it can reach 9 m, with rust-coloured branches that secret resin. The dark grey bark is cracked and can be come off easily.

    The leaves, 4-7.5 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide, are simple, alternate and elliptical with entire margin. Both the upper side and the lower side appear always bright because they secrete resin.

    The tiny yellow to reddish orange flowers are composed of four sepals and they have not petals. They appear into dense terminal or axillary panicles, 2.5 cm long.

    The fruits, 1.5 cm wide, are rounded winged (2-4) capsules. The red colour varies to brown when ripe. They contain one or two small lenticular black seeds.

    Flowering time: 
    Fruiting time: 
    Uses and properties: 

    Native Hops are used in medicine because of its hemostatic properties as well as a pest repelent and fuel.

    Its strength and life span made it the source for weapons in the Maori culture, where it is known as akeake, meaning "for ever after".

    It is also used as windscreen for reforestation.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name, Dondonaea viscosa, consists of the genus name Dondonaea, dedicated to the Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens (Rembertus Dodonaeus, in Latin) (1517-1585), and the Latin term viscosa, "viscous".

    For further information: 

    THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. Enciclopedia de plantas y flores. Barcelona: Grijalbo, 1996