Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens is compiled by members of the Friends group and Gardens staff. We aim to build up to a comprehensive archive of trees in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Each article illustrates a tree growing in Belfast Botanic Gardens together with information from a range of sources. Where possible we will give the tree tag number - these are the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Dodonaea viscosa
Akeake or hopbush

Tag -
54 deg 34.993N
5 deg 55.941W

The Dodonaea genus is in the Sapindaceae family and has about 70 species mostly in Australia. Dodonaea viscosa is the only species seen in cultivation and is fairly rare. It can form a tree up to 9m, but is more usually seen as a shrub. The leaves exude a resin and are sticky and strongly scented - hence the latin species name viscosa which means sticky. The hopbush is grown here for its coloured fruit capsules in late summer, but in Australia it has had numerous uses. The wood is exceptionally tough and there are many reported medicinal properties of its leaves. The early Australian colonists used the leaves to flavour beer in the absence of European hops - hence the name hopbush.

Dodonaea viscosa in Belfast Botanic Gardens Dodonaea viscosa fruit in Belfast Botanic Gardens
Dodoneae viscosa in Belfast Botanic Gardens Dodonaea viscosa leaves and fruit
Dodonaea viscosa Dodonaea viscosa
Fruiting branches of Dodonaea viscosa Fruit capsules of Dodonaea viscosa

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2009. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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