Varnishleaf, Florida hopbush
Dodonaea viscosa var. viscosa
Sapindaceae


Landscape Uses:

Accent shrub along the east coast.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Sporadic in coastal strand along the east coast.
Availability:
Native plant nurseries. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).
Description:
Large erect shrub or rarely a small tree. Bark reddish-brown or gray, thin, flaking off in strips. Leaves flat, stiff, yellowish-green, very glossy, 3-6 inches long.
Height:
Typically 10-15 feet in height. Taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Miami-Dade County north along the east coast to St. John's County; West Indies, South America and the Old World. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map of D. viscosa in the broad sense, visit the Exploring Florida website. Populations in the Florida Keys are D. elaeagnoides, those along the east coast are mostly D. viscosa var. viscosa, while the most widespread taxon is D. viscosa var. angustifolia, which is found near the coast in Martin County, in the interior, and along the southwestern coast.
Habitats:
Coastal thickets.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy soils, with or without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate to low; it prefers soils with organic content, but will still grow reasonably well in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Yellowish-green.
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous. Predominately dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants.
Flowering Season:
Spring-fall.
Fruit:
Winged capsule; green to pinkish.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed. Capsules can be smashed or placed into a dry blender to separate the seed. Plant in container with 2" or more light potting soil. Place in the full sun.
Comments:


George D. Gann
George D. Gann
George D. Gann, 2016
In habitat, Piņones State Forest, Loíza, Puerto Rico, Enlarge