Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Dodonaea viscosa, Florida Hopbush

Florida Hopbush is a semi-tropical, native plant with pale yellow flowers in clusters from axils, that bloom from February to October. Dodonaea viscosaFlorida Hopbush is a shrub or small tree with shiny green leaves and handsome reddish-yellow 3 (4) sided winged fruits. Dodonaea viscosaFlorida Hopbush is relatively rare in the United States, found only in CA, AZ and FL. Leaves are evergreen, alternate, shiny green and narrowly lanceolate. Dodonaea viscosaFlorida Hopbush has male and female flowers on separate plants. This species grows to 12 feet tall and is found from 2,000 to 5,000 feet elevation. Dodonaea viscosa

Scientific Name: Dodonaea viscosa
Common Name: Florida Hopbush
Also Called: Florida Hopbush, Hopbush, Hopseed Bush, Switch Sorrel, Varnish Leaf, (Spanish: Jarilla, Tarachico, Tarachique, Saucillo, Alamillo)
Family: Sapindaceae Soapberry Family
Synonyms: (Dodonaea ehrenbergii, Dodonaea elaeagnoides, Dodonaea eriocarpa, Dodonaea eriocarpa x18 varieties, Dodonaea sandwicensis, Dodonaea sandwicensis var. latifolia, Dodonaea sandwicensis var. simulans, Dodonaea spathulata, Dodonaea stenoptera var. fauriei, Dodonaea thunbergiana, Dodonaea viscosa var. angustifolia, Dodonaea viscosa var. linearis, Dodonaea viscosa var. spathulata, Dodonaea stenoptera, Dodonaea viscosa var. arborescens, Ptelea viscosa)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 12 feet.
Growth Form: Shrub, tree; plants dioecious.
Leaves: Green, shiny green; evergreen, alternate; narrowly lanceolate
Flower Color: Yellow, pale yellow or reddish; inflorescence a panicle from axils small flowers in clusters; fruit a 3 sided capsule.
Flowering Season: February to October; August to November in Florida.
Elevation: 2,000 to 5,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Common on dry rocky slopes and in canyons, often on limestone, grassy savannas, coastal hammocks. Often associated with Simmondsia and Fouquieria.

Recorded Range: Dodonaea viscosa is a relatively rare species in the United States where it is found scattered throughout Florida, central and southern Arizona and a small population is found in Orange County, California.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Dodonaea viscosa.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.

Wetland Indicator: In North America Dodonaea viscosa, Florida Hopbush has the following wetland designations: Arid West, FACU; Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, UPL; Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, UPL.
FACU = Facultative Upland, usually occur in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands
UPL = Obligate Upland, almost never occur in wetlands.

Threatened/Endangered Information: In North America Dodonaea elaeagnoides (=viscosa), Keys Hopbush is Endangered. Genus Information: In North America there is 1 native species in Dodonaea. World wide, The Plant List includes 67 accepted species names and includes a further 85 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States, Arizona and Texas have 1 species of Dodonaea, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah have 0 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

There are 2 non-native subsp. in Dodonaea viscosa;
Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima, Narrow-leaf Hopbush;
Dodonaea viscosa subsp. cuneata, Wedge-leaf Hopbush.

Comments: The handsome shiny green foliage, red winged fruits and drought resistance of Dodonaea viscosa make it an excellent accent landscape plant in the southwest. This semi-tropical species is readily available from local nurseries and several cultivars have been developed.

An infusion of the leaves of Dodonaea viscosa has been used as a wash for various purposes by North American indigenous peoples.
Hawaiian Drug, Ceremonial Medicine, Infusion of leaves and other plants used as a wash to keep evil influences away.
Hawaiian Drug, Dermatological Aid, Infusion of leaves and other plants used as a wash for rash and itch.
Hawaiian Drug, Misc. Disease Remedy, Infusion of leaves and other plants used as a wash for contagious diseases.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 08/04/2016, updated format 10/03/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 08/04/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 08/04/2016).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 08/04/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Dodonaea viscosa', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 26 June 2016, 22:46 UTC, [accessed 5 August 2016]
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 08/04/2016).