Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Dodonaea viscosa Jacq. subsp. viscosa

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and fruit. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg.
Female flowers. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg.
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

West, J.G. (1984) Brunonia 7(1): 37.

Common name

Hops, Wild; Wild Hops; Dodonea, Sticky; Hopbush; Sticky Dodonea; Sticky Hop Bush


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-3 m tall.


Terminal buds and young leaves viscous or varnished. Petioles about 0-1.8 cm long. Leaf blades about 1-15 x 2.2-3 cm, length/breadth ratio 3-4:1, underside +/- scurfy or scaly. Lateral veins forming distinct loops inside the blade margin.


Flowers often viscous. Pedicels about 4-7.5 mm long. Tepals mainly glabrous, margins ciliate, about 1.5-2.5 x 0.8-1.5 mm. Stamens usually eight (ranging from 6-10) usually longer than the tepals, filaments about 0.3-0.5 mm long, anthers about 1.8-2.4 x 0.8-1 mm. Ovary +/- triangular in transverse section. Ovules 1 per locule. Style and stigmas together more than twice the length of the ovary.


Capsule two or 3-winged, +/- orbicular when viewed from the side, capsule + wings about 15-23 x 20-25 mm. Seeds 2-4 per fruit, about 2-3.1 x 1.8-3 mm.


Cotyledons +/- linear, about 18 x 3 mm. First pair of leaves usually with some indication of lobing at least towards the apex of the leaf blade. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade narrowly elliptic, apex acute and mucronate, base attenuate, midrib raised on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Leaf blade glandular. Seed germination time 18 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 450 m. Usually grows in open forest but also found in vine thickets, monsoon forest, beach forest and on rain forest margins. A typical fire weed often regenerating profusely following bush fires. Also occurs in America, Africa, Asia and Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

The plant contains tannin and is astringent; one variety has been used in Cape York Peninsula by Aborigines in the form of a root decoction for cuts and open wounds. Leaves of this species have been chewed in Peru as a stimulant in the same way as are coca leaves. The leaves and bark have been shown to contain an alkaloid. Cribb (1981).

Dodonaea viscosa Jacq., Enum. Syst. Pl. : 19(1760), Type: Jamaica, H. Sloane; lecto: BM. Fide J. G. West, Brunonia 7: 30 (1948).
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