Scientific: Dodonaea viscosa
Common: hopseed bush, sticky hop bush, switch sorrel, varnish leaf, casol, 'A'ali'i
Family: Sapindaceae
Origin: Native (or naturalized) in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide including Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Baja California, central Mexico, south Florida and Hawaii. By far the highest frequency of occurrence is in Australia. In Arizona, found above 2,000 feet in upland Sonoran Desert to scrub transition zones. Here is an image of a native community of hopseed bush growing in a rocky area in the Superstition Mountains northeast of Phoenix at about 3,000 feet elevation.

Pronounciation: Do-do-NAA-ee-a vis-CO-sa

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 7-9, 12-24
USDA 9-11

Landscape Use: Accent, informal or formal hedge, multiple trunk small tree, screen, large specimen in indoor atriums with high levels of natural light.

Form & Character: Variable, evergreen shrub to small multiple-trunk tree with a rich, dark cinnamon brown bark characteristic, loose.

Growth Habit: Highly variable evergreen, woody, perennial shrub to small tree, moderate growth to 4 to 20 feet in height depending on amount and frequency of irrigation and aridity of climate.

Foliage/texture: Nearly willow-like linear to lanceolate leaves to 4 inches, very viscid with a varnished appearance, trunk has nice, shedding to shredding, dark cinnamon bark, stems weak and brittle; medium fine texture.

Flowers & fruits: Plants are dioecious, flowers small with predominant sepals in winter. Fruit on female plants are pendant appearing like small Chinese lanterns, first light green then fading to pink of burgundy. The three parted seed pods have several small rounded black seeds.  The fruit are very ornamental.

Seasonal color: Pinkish colored fruits in early spring. Foliage of purple leaved cultivars mostly in winter.

Temperature: Tolerant

Light: Full sun, quite shade intolerant.

Soil: Hopseed bush is tolerant of most soil textures, BUT it is a requirement that whatever soil it is growing can not be chronically wet. A fast draining soil is an essential requirement.

Watering: Watering needs are variable depending on eventual desired size. More water = larger size to eventually arborescent (tree like) in form. Less to no water = small rounded shrub. Here is an unirrigated hopseed bush at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Pruning: Hopseed bush has minimal pruning requirements, although the 'hort clods of Phoenix' will certainly shear hopseed bush too.

Propagation: Seed, softwood cuttings using 2,500 ppm IBA as rooting hormone, air layering.

Disease and pests: Texas root rot in poorly drained when soils are wet and warm (above 80oF) during August and September.

Additional comments: Hop seed bush is a versatile Arizona native shrub or small tree. The cultivar 'Purpurea' has purple foliage during cool weather, but the foliage change to mostly green during hot weather. The cultivar 'Saratoga' has deep purple foliage year round. It is a superior purple-leaf cultivar, but is surprisingly less common in plant nurseries.

Medicinal notes: Hopseed bush has been used by indigenuous peoples to treat a variety of ailments.