Many thanks
to the good folk at

for permission to use graphics from their software and toposheets

Dodonaea viscosa Jacquin Enum. syst. Pl. carib. 1760, 19. (Sapindaceae)


Derivation: Named after Rembert Dodoens, a Belgian botanist. He was born in Malines in 1517 and studied medicine at Louvain. He died in Leyden in 1585. He is regarded as the first great Belgian (Flemish) botanist

Viscosa = sticky

This is another one of those plants that are likely to be encountered in civic landscaped areas more frequently than they occur in the wild.

17 September 2006 Montana Heritage Trail

Besides its green form, there is a deep red-brown leaved form, D viscosa 'Purpurea', located originally along the banks of the Wairau River in Marlborough.

19 October 2006 Helensville Walkway

19 October 2006 Helensville Walkway

Both of the above are considerably magnified. I am enjoying my new camera.

In Tahiti, Panama and Peru, where it also found, there is a long history of use to diminish fever, but it does not seem to have been part of Maori medical tradition.

Akeake is common in coastal and lowland scrub and forest throughout the North Island and as far south as Greymouth and Banks Peninsula in the South Island. It grows from sea level up to 550 metres wherever severe frost is not a problem. It has a strong fibrous root system which makes it useful in coastal conditions as a soil stabiliser. It withstands strong winds, salt spray and dry conditions, but needs a well drained soil.

Its name means "for ever and ever", a reference to the extreme hardness of its timber. Its heart wood (from the centre of the trunk) is black with streaks of white and is very dense and heavy. The wood was traditionally used for paddles, weapons, digging sticks and spade blades. The twigs can be used to make a number of dyes - pale green, yellow green, and bright gold.

See also the following article

Variation in Dioecism in Cultivated Dodonaea viscosa
Elizabeth M. Rivers
Botany Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Christchurch

New Zealand Flora Information

Family Sapindaceae

Genus Dodonaea

Species Dodonaea viscosa

If you would like to be notified of new postings to Fathmandu,
click here

Track Reports

Annotated ARC




Fitness Building for the Elderly and Stout

Food for Tramping

General Advice:
Specifically oriented to the Heaphy Track but relevant to other long walks for beginners and older walkers

New Zealand Plants
(an ongoing project)

Links to Tramping Resource Websites