Plants of
South Australia
Dodonaea viscosa ssp. spatulata
Spoon-leaf Hop-bush,
Sticky Hop-bush
Display all 13 images
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
Enlarge Map
Copy Map
Copy Map
Display IBRA region text

Prior names

Dodonaea viscosa var. spatulata

Dodonaea spatulata

Common names

Spoon-leaf Hop-bush

Sticky Hop-bush


Dodonaea named after Rembert Dodoens (1517-1585), a Flemish physician and botanist, also known under his Latinized name Rembertus Dodonaeus. Viscosa from the Latin 'viscosus' meaning sticky, alluding to the leaves being viscous. Spatulata from the Latin 'spatula' meaning a broad paddle or spoon- shaped, referring to the shape of the leaves.

Distribution and status

Found in southern South Australia growing in higher rainfall areas in a variety of habits, including open-forest, open woodland and mallee shrublands. Also found in all mainland States. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Northern Territory. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect to spreading shrub, to 4 m high. Leaves usually obovate, sometimes spatulate, rarely elliptic, broad-acute to obtuse, sometimes obtuse or rounded with a very short abrupt point, to 7.5 cm long and 1.6 cm wide, margin entire to irregularly sinuate or irregularly denticulate, viscous. Flowers in terminal panicles with small yellow-green flowers. Sepals 3 or 4 and stamens usually 8. Generally the subspecies are readily distinguishable but many intermediates exist where two or more subspecies are sympatric. This subspecies differs from the other three subspecies found in South Australia by having spoon-shaped leaves, similar to D. viscosa ssp. mucronata but found in the southern part of the state. Flowering between September and January. Seeds are black, globular to 3 mm long and 3 mm wide with a short aril. Seed embryo type is folded.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and March. Collect winged capsules that contain hard black seeds, usually when capsule is turning red or brown with black seeds. 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. Seed viability is usually high. This species has physiological dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking the seed coat).