Habit.  Photo   I.Holliday

Leaves,  young inflorescences and young fruit.  Photo   W.R.Barker

Leaves and inflorescences (flowers somewhat blurred).  Photo   I.Holliday


Hakea ceratophylla (Sm.) R.Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 184 (1810)

Conchium ceratophyllum Sm., in A.Rees Cycl. 9 (1807), pages unnumbered. T: King George Sound, [Western Australia], 1792, A.Menzies s.n.; syn: BM, LINN.

?Hakea cervina Dum.Cours., Bot. Cult. 2nd edn, 2: 633 (1811); 7: 110 (1814), nom. illeg. (Conchium ceratophyllum Sm. in synonymy). T: 'New Holland'; holo: not located.

?Hakea acanthophylla Link, Enum. Hort. Berol. Alt. 1: 118 (1821). T: 'in Australia'; holo: not located.

Hakea myricaefolia A.Cunn. ex Don, in R.Sweet, Hort. Brit. 3rd edn, 768 (1839), nom. nud.

Hakea ceratophylla var. subintegrifolia Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss. 1: 570 (1845). T: Nelson district [near Capel], Western Australia, 26 Dec. 1839, L.Preiss 579; syn: B, BR, G, G-DC (microfiche seen), HBG, L, LD, LE (and as Preiss 890), M, MEL, ?MO, NY, P, TCD (as Preiss 890).

An image of the NY type specimen of Preiss 579 can be seen on the New York Botanical Garden site and theLeiden specimen on the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland site.

Hakea ceratophylla var. tricuspis Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss. 1: 570 (1845). T: in region interior Australiae merid.-occid., [Western Australia], Oct. 1840, L.Preiss 588; syn: LD, LE, ?NY (label for Preiss 588 on same sheet as Preiss 579 (see above) but no specimen with it).

Hakea ceratophylla var. laciniata Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss. 1: 570 (1845), nom. illeg. (H. ceratophylla (Sm.) R.Br. in synonymy). T:  portus Princess Royal Harbour [ Albany ] et in districtu Nelson [near Capel], Western Australia, s.n., L.Preiss 580; syn: B, BR, G, HBG, LE, M, MEL(3 sheets), NY; Wuljenup, Plantagenet [Willyung Hill], Western Australia, s.n., L.Preiss 581; syn: BR, LE.

Hakea laciniosa F.Muell., Fragm. 4: 49 (1863). T: Lake Leven [not located], Western Australia, without date, G.Maxwell s.n.; syn: K p.p., MEL 108088.

Hakea ceratophylla var. elongata Benth., Fl. Austral. 5: 502 (1870). T: south-western Western Australia, without date, J.Drummond 4: 297; syn: G, K, MEL, P, TCD; ?syn: LE, MEL 111860, OXF (as Drummond 291).


Rigid multi-stemmed shrub, 0.5–2 m tall, ?lignotuberous. Branchlets and young leaves ferruginous, with hairs appressed or raised, glabrescent. Leaves linear to narrowly obovate, 4.5–23 cm long, entire and 0.2–1.4 cm wide, or 3–5-lobed and 3.5–8.5 cm wide, narrowly cuneate at base; lobes 1–26 mm long, apically rounded or acute.

Inflorescence umbelliform with 2–10 flowers; rachis obscure; pedicels 2–5 mm long, tomentose or appressed-pubescent, with hairs white, ferruginous or mixed, the ferruginous hairs extending onto perianth. Perianth 4.5– long. Pistil 7.5–9.5 mm long; gland U-shaped.

Fruit obliquely ovate, 2–3.5 cm long, 0.9–1.3 cm wide, black-pusticulate. Seed obliquely elliptic, 12–20 mm long, broadly flanked by red-brown wood zone; wing narrowly down one side only.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in south-western Western Australia between Perth and Albany, including the Stirling Ra. Found in swampy areas in sand plain, heath or paperbark Melaleuca, or in sandy ground near sea.

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.–Dec. (–Feb.).

Derivation of name

From cerato-, Greek for horn and phyllo-, Greek for leaf, presumably a reference to the toothing of some forms of this species.



Part of Section Hakea of Bentham (as Euhakea) and characterised by a non-conical pollen presenter, leaves without obvious venation, perianths with or without hairs and fruits with or without horns. Barker et al. (1999) recognised a number of informal morphological groups within the section.

Within this section 6 species were assigned to the informal Ceratophylla group by Barker et al. (1999). The group is close to the Obliqua group, sharing the morphological characteristics of few-flowered inflorescences with pubescent flowers on an obscure rachis, oblique pollen presenters and distinctly woody fruits without horns and usually without beaks and seed in which the wing encircles the seed body or is broadly down one side; the groups differ in the flat leaves of this group compared with the terete leaves of the Obliqua group. 

Members of the group are H. baxteri, H. brownii, H. ceratophylla, H. flabellifolia, H. hookeriana  and H. pandanicarpa, all from south-west WA.  


Although there are a number of varieties already described for this species, predominantly based on leaf shape, these seem to be untenable. Modern collections with unlobed leaves (equivalent to var. subintegrifolia) predominate from paperbark swamps near Busselton. However, there are older collections (Gilbert 233, BM) which match this variety from paperbark swamps north of Perth, and other collections from paperbark swamps (R.A.Saffrey 1774) which exhibit the more typical lobed leaves of the species. Similarly var. elongata Benth. (leaves 2–4 mm wide) seems to be restricted to the Denmark/Stirling Ra. area, and, although very distinctive, there are specimens in which the elongated leaves broaden into lobed leaves towards the apex.

Other differences occur between specimens with respect to the colour of the hairs on the pedicel and perianth and their appression. In some collections the hairs are almost approaching appressed-sericeous, while in others they are more 'woolly' in appearance.

Representative specimens

W.A.: Hardy Rd, Forrestfield, R.J.Cranfield 130 (PERTH); Ruabon, Busselton to Capel, G.Keighery 7402 (PERTH); 13 km W of Denmark, K.Newbey 2982 (PERTH); Cowaramup, R.D.Royce 1415 (PERTH); 6 km off South Coast Hwy along Nanarup Rd, A.Strid 21634 (PERTH).


Link to FloraBase treatment of this species for WA.


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

Further illustrations

J.W.Wrigley & M.Fagg, Banksias, Waratahs & Grevilleas 366 (1988).

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 34-35 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 21 (2006)