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Narrow varnishleaf
Dodonaea viscosa var. angustifolia

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

General Landscape Uses: Accent shrub.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Medium shrub with erect branches. Leaves narrow, about 2-4 inches long.

Dimensions: About 3-6 feet in height. Usually taller than broad, except when recovering from fire.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland north to St. Johns, Highlands, and at least Sarasota counties; Greater Antilles, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Old World. Somewhat rare and scattered in Florida. In Miami-Dade County, it is know from Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park northeast along the Miami Rock Ridge to the Richmond Pine Rocklands. In Broward County, it was perhaps never present or is extirpated, while in Palm Beach and Martin counties it is know from the Pal-Mar area in the interior. Along the east coast it is known from a few scattered locations from the Hobe Sound area in Martin County northward to Anastasia Island in St. Johns County. It is more common in Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County and then on the barrier islands of Lee County northward. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map of D. viscosa in the broad sense, visit the Exploring Florida website. Populations of Dodonaea in the Florida Keys are D. elaeagnoides, while those along the east coast are mostly D. viscosa var. viscosa. A Dodonaea in Hernando County, with long, narrow, pointed leaves (Lakela 24509 USF) has been referred to as D. viscosa f. schiedeana. The most widespread taxon in Florida is D. viscosa var. angustifolia.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Pinelands and coastal uplands.

Soils: Moist, well-drained to periodically inundated freshwater soils.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Yellow.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous. Predominately dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants.

Flowering Season: Spring-fall.

Fruit: Winged capsule; green to pinkish.

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.

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2011
In habitat, Dominican Republic

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2012
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Other data on Dodonaea viscosa var. angustifolia available from:

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