Dodonaea sp. in Black Hill, Morialta and Horsnell Gully Conservation Parks
Black Hill Conservation Park
photo from 1999.
This is a large family with about 150 genera and 2,000 species, most of which live in the tropics and subtropics, with some trees producing valuable timber, or grown for their edible fruit. We have only one reprentative from this family native in out Parks; Dodonaea viscosa.
Dodenaea is named after a Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens (1517 to 1585) who is known for his work in describing and grouping medicinal herbs in a book that was used as a reference for two centuaries.
Dodonaea viscosa, the sticky hop-bush has previously been known as Dodenaea attenuata and Dodenaea angustissima. The name viscosa means sticky, and we would not be surprised by this when with think of a viscous liquid. The common name also has a reference to the somewhat sticky feel of the leaves to the touch. This species grows not only in Australia, but also on Lord Howe Island, New Guinea and tropica regions of America, Africa and Asia.
This shrub grows to about 4m tall and the feature is the often colourful seed pods. They hang on the plants for many weeks. The flowers are very small, and quite insignificant.
Dodonaea viscosa plants will be killed by a 100% fire scorch. Their means of a population surviving a fire event is through germination of seed in the soil after the fire. It is beleived the seed is not long lived, and only available while mature plants are present, all seeds germinate after a fire event. All seed present on the plants are destroyed during a fire. There is medium confident that Dodonaea viscosa are tolerant of fire events and that a population will survive an event, however they are unlikely to colonise new locations.
New page added 5 April 2009
Sources: e-Flora of SA, Wikipedia, Encyclopeadia of Australian Plants, Wikipedia.
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