Habit and habitat. Photo W.R.Barker

Habit and habitat. Photo I.Holliday

Foliage and flowers. Photo I.Holliday

Inflorescence closer; note the coloured pedicels and the conical pollen presenters. Photo I.Holliday

Fruits and leaves. Photo W.R.Barker

Opened fruits. Photo W.R.Barker


Hakea carinata F.Muell. ex Meisn., Linnaea 26: 360 (1854)

T: Lofty Range, Adelaide, [S.A.], 1851–52, F.Mueller s.n.; lecto: NY p.p., fide L.Haegi & W.R.Barker, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 7: 269 (1985); isolecto: MEL p.p.; remaining syntypes: Lofty Range, Adelaide, S.A., 1851–52, F.Mueller s.n.; syn: NY p.p.,?MEL p.p.; Mt Lofty, S.A., 2 Mar. 1848, F.Mueller s.n.; possible isosyn: MEL 55913; Australia felix, [S.A.], s.d., F.Mueller s.n.; ?syn: BM, MEL 55892, MEL 55907; St Vincents Gulf, S.A., s.d., F.Mueller s.n.; possible isosyn: BR; Port Adelaide, S.A., s.d., [F.Mueller] s.n.; possible isosyn: K.

Hakea carinata? planifolia Meisn., op. cit. 26: 361. T: Lofty Range, Adelaide, S.A., 1851–52, F.Mueller s.n.; syn: MEL 55911, NY p.p.

Hakea carinata trigonophylla Meisn., op. cit. 26: 361, nom. illeg. (type variety). T: Lofty Range, Adelaide, S.A., 1851–52, F.Mueller s.n.; syn: G (annotated 'hills nr Adelaide'), MEL 55908 (herb. Sonder L.H.S. and middle), NY.

An image of the NY type specimen of Mueller can be seen on the New York Botanical Garden site.

[Hakea ulicina auct. non R.Br.: R.Tate, Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Australia 3: 68 (1880); J.M.Black, Fl. S. Australia 2nd edn, 266 (1948), p.p.]


Erect shrub, 1.5–3 m tall, non-sprouting. Branchlets appressed-pubescent at flowering, often patchily glabrescent. Leaves ±flexible, broadly to narrowly linear, flat, concave or trigonous, 5–24 cm long, 1–12 mm wide, ±glabrous; marginal veins prominent; midvein only or sometimes 3 longitudinal veins prominent below, not or scarcely visible above; secondary veins sometimes faintly visible below.

Inflorescence a solitary axillary umbelliform raceme, with 8–24 flowers; pedicels initially cream-white, pink with age, glabrous or rarely sparsely pubescent. Perianth cream-white. Pistil 3–6 mm long; gland a small flap, 0.4–0.8 mm high.

Fruit shortly stalked, obliquely narrowly ovate-elliptic, straight or slightly curved towards apex, 1.3–2.6 cm long, 0.6–1.1 cm wide, scarcely beaked but narrowed into a long fragile apiculum. Seed obliquely narrowly ovate-elliptic, 10–18 mm long, 4–6.5 mm wide; wing extending narrowly down both sides of body, blackish brown.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in S.A., in the Mt Lofty Ra., southern Flinders Ra. and at a few sites in the South-East as far south as Padthaway; sometimes grows as a common component in the heathy understorey of dry sclerophyll forest and in scrub-heath, in sandy to loamy soil.

To plot an up to date distribution map based on herbarium collections for this species see Australia's Virtual Herbarium. Localities outside the native range may represent cultivated or naturalised records.

Flowering time

Flowers Sept.–Oct.

Derivation of name

Presumably from carina, Latin for keel. From the protologue (original description of the species) it is not clear what is keeled, but it may be a reference to the trigonous leaves of this species.



Part of the Conogynoides group recognised by Bentham and characterised by a conical pollen presenter, veined leaves, glabrous perianth and fruits without horns. Barker et al. (1999) recognised a number of informal morphological groups within the section.


One of these was the Ulicina group. This group of 21 Hakea species was combined morphologically because they all have simple flat leaves or leaves which are apparently terete but when looked at in cross section are clearly angled; these angled leaves are longitudinally furrowed and often referred to as sulcate. Furthermore the group has inflorescences with 6-80 small flowers (with 3-18 mm long pistils) and erect woody fruits.  

Members of the group are H. aenigma, H. carinata, H. costata, H. cygna, H. dohertyi, H. erecta, H. gilbertii, H. invaginata, H. lehmanniana, H. marginata, H. meisneriana, H. mitchellii, H. myrtoides, H. pycnoneura, H. repullulans, H. rigida, H. scoparia, H. stenocarpa, H. sulcata, H. subsulcata and H. ulicina, mostly from southern WA but also from south-eastern Australia.  


Populations of H. carinata typically exhibit a high degree of variation in leaf width even at a single site. Trigonous and flat-leaved plants frequently occur together, and the nature of this polymorphism is under investigation (G.Starr, pers. comm.). Superimposed is a geographical trend, with the broadest-leaved plants occurring in the southern part of the distribution.

Hakea carinata is sometimes confused with H. mitchellii, but that species differs in having more robust fruits which are apically gibbous, sepia-coloured seeds with dark markings and a later flowering season (late Oct.–Jan.). It is also found in different ecological situations, occurring in communities in calcareous rather than acidic soil. The distributions of the two species are largely mutually exclusive. For a detailed account of nomenclature and other aspects see L.Haegi & W.R.Barker, op. cit. 7: 249–271 (1985).


Fruits of this species are a favourite meal for the yellow-tailed black cockatoos in the Mt Lofty Ranges and it is probably their pruning activities which are responsible for the untidy shapes of the bushes.

A study of the genetic variation in isolated populations of H. carinata in the south-eastern region of South Australia (Starr & Carthew 1998) indicated little gene flow between populations and very little diversity within populations as a result of inbreeding.

Reference: G. J. Starr & S. M. Carthew (1998). Genetic differentiation in isolated populations of Hakea carinata (Proteaceae). Aust. J. Bot., 46: 671-682

Representative specimens

S.A.: Padthaway Conservation Park, 23 Oct. 1980, P.Canty s.n. (AD); Eagle on The Hill, Adelaide–Mount Barker road, L.Haegi 552–554 (AD); 0.5 km WSW of Gladstone on main road to Port Pirie, L.Haegi 896 (AD, PERTH); Mambray Ck, Flinders Ra., P.Martinsen 57 (AD).


Link to SA eFlora treatment with up to date distribution map based on herbarium specimens.


More photographs of this species can be seen on the Australian National Botanic Gardens site.

Further illustrations

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 32-33 (2005)