Plants of
South Australia
Dodonaea bursariifolia
Small Hop-bush
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Kath Alcock paintings: 5


Dodonaea named after Rembert Dodoens (1517-1585), a Flemish physician and botanist, also known under his Latinized name Rembertus Dodonaeus. Bursariifolia means having leaves like the genus Bursaria.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia, except on Knagroo Island and the South-east growing in semi-arid mallee scrub communities, usually on sandy loams. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Gairdner-Torrens, Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Dioecious, or rarely polygamous-dioecious spreading shrub to 1.5 m high. Leaves simple, obovate, or sometimes oblanceolate or oblong; to 3.5 cm long and 15 mm wide, glabrous. Flowers small yellow, usually 2 or 3 together, rarely in a few-flowered terminal cyme, Flowering between August and November. Fruits are yellow-red capsule, 3- rarely 4-angled to 8.5 mm long and 8.5 mm wide; glabrous, leathery. Seeds are dark brown to black ovoid seeds to 4 mm, with a noticable white aril. Seed embryo type is folded.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect capsules that contain hard black seeds, usually when capsule is turning yellow-red. Place capsules in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the capsules by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. This species has physiological dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking the seed coat).