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Hakea laurina Tas.jpg
Hakea laurina (pin-cushion hakea)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Subfamily: Grevilleoideae
Genus: Hakea
Schrad. & J.C.Wendl.
Type species
Hakea teretifolia

See text

Hakea (pin-cushion tree)[1] is a genus of 149 species of shrubs and small trees in the Proteaceae, native to Australia and surrounding islands. They are found throughout the country, with the highest species diversity being found in the south west of Western Australia.

They can reach 1–6 m in height, and have spirally arranged leaves 2–20 cm long, simple or compound, sometimes (e.g. H. suaveolens) with the leaflets thin cylindrical and rush-like. The flowers are produced in dense flowerheads of variable shape, globose to cylindrical, 3–10 cm long, with numerous small red, yellow, pink, purple, pale blue, or white flowers.

Hakeas are named after Baron Christian Ludwig von Hake, the 18th-century German patron of botany, following Heinrich Schrader's description of Hakea teretifolia in 1797.[2]

It is now accepted [3] that Grevillea is paraphyletic with respect to Hakea.


Hakeas are closely related to the genus Grevillea and Finschia, both members of the subfamily Grevilleoideae within the family Proteaceae. Many species have similar inflorescences, but hakeas can be distinguished by their woody seed pods.


Hakeas are popular ornamental plants in gardens in Australia, and in many locations are as common as grevilleas and banksias. Several hybrids and cultivars have been developed. They are best grown in beds of light soil which are watered but still well drained.

Some showy western species, such as Hakea multilineata, H. francisiana and H. bucculenta, require grafting onto hardy stock such as Hakea salicifolia for growing in more humid climates, as they are sensitive to dieback.

Many species, particularly eastern Australian species, are notable for their hardiness, to the point they have become weedy. Hakea gibbosa, H. sericea, and H. drupacea (previously H. suaveolens) have been weeds in South Africa, Hakea laurina has become naturalized around Adelaide, and Hakea salicifolia, Hakea gibbosa, and Hakea sericea are invasive weeds in New Zealand.

Hakea epiglottis
Hakea decurrens ssp. physocarpa



  1. ^ "Hakea". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Von Hake (*1745-1818*) was a Hanoverian official, among others serving as President of the Royal British and Electoral Brunswick-Lunenburgian Privy Council for the Duchies of Bremen and Verden in the years of 1800–1810.
  3. ^ Weston, P.H.; Barker, N.P. (2006). "A new suprageneric classification of the Proteaceae, with annotated checklist of genera" (PDF). Telopea. 11: 314–344. 
  4. ^ "Hakea chromatropa". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife. 

Further reading

  • Barker WR, Barker RM, Haegi L (1999). "Hakea". In Wilson, Annette. Flora of Australia: Volume 17B: Proteaceae 3: Hakea to Dryandra. CSIRO Publishing / Australian Biological Resources Study. pp. 1–170. ISBN 0-643-06454-0. 
  • Holliday Ivan (2005). Hakeas:a field and garden guide. Reed New Holland. ISBN 1-877069-14-0. 
  • Young, JA (2006). Hakeas of Western Australia : a field and identification guide. ISBN 978-0-9585778-2-3. 

External links

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