Narrow-leaf Hop-bush

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Description

Common names

Narrow-leaf Hop-bush, Slender Hop-bush.

Scientific names

Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima, Dodonaea attenuata, Dodonaea angustissima.

Family

Sapindaceae.

Genus

Dodonaea.

Name origin

Dodonaea, after Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens (1517-85). Viscosa, sticky. Angustissima, from Latin angustus, narrow, referring to leaves.

Rainfall

250mm.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

Up to 4m.

Presence in Australia

Widespread. In most areas throughout the region.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, SA, NT, WA.

Habitat

In open forests, woodlands and scrubs, on rocky outcrops, drier slopes and sandy sites.

Habit

Erect shrub to 4m high. Narrow green leaves 3 - 9.5cm long.

Site preference

Well-drained soil in partial or full sun. Tolerates frost and drought.

Characteristics

Fast-growing. Lifespan possibly up to several decades. Flowers are as early as two years after germination.

Flowering

Reddish, spring. Inconspicuous.

Seed collection

Mid Oct to early Feb. Monitor closely as seeds released immediately or within 3-14 days of maturity. Papery capsules turn from red to tan-brown and become brittle as seeds ripen. Seeds black and firm when ripe. Large quantities easily collected. Retains viability for several years.

Propagation

From seed (±212 viable seeds per gram), or cuttings. While untreated seeds germinate, hot water treatment hastens germination, which should take 2-4 weeks.

Regeneration

From seed, stem and coppice, particularly after fire. Establishes readily when direct seeded.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks, due to multi-stemmed growth.

Land protection

Useful understorey in recharge planting. Useful in land rehabilitation such as stabilising sand due to shallow spreading roots.

Wildlife

Excellent habitat. Good pollen source for moths, butterflies and other insects including colourful beetles. Foliage good refuge for small birds. Fruits and seeds are forage for native birds. Kangaroos and wallabies browse foliage.

Koori

Dodonaea leaves used for pain relief. Leaves chewed for toothache (without swallowing the juice). Chewed leaves and juice used in treating stonefish and stingray wounds (usually bound to wound and left for several days).

Ornamental

Ornamental. Useful in hedges, screening, rock gardens and under trees. Three-angled fruits very colourful and attractive. Prune lightly to promote bushiness.

Other

Useful drought fodder in some arid areas. Fruiting branches have cut flower potential.