Hakea dohertyi Haegi, Fl. Australia 17B: 395 (1999)

T: Blue Mountains, N.S.W., 17 Nov. 1984, M.Doherty NSW 167553; holo: NSW; iso: AD.

Hakea sp. 2 (Kowmung River; M.Doherty 17–24) in J.D.Briggs & J.H.Leigh, Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (1995).

Hakea 'sp. B' in M.Fisher et al., The natural vegetation of the Burragorang 1:100,000 map sheet, Cunninghamia 4(2): 143–215 (1995).


Slender erect shrub, 3–4 m tall, non-sprouting. Branchlets densely sericeous at flowering. Leaves almost filiform, trigonous, straight or slightly curved, 20–30 (–40) cm long, 1.8–2.2 mm wide and deep, glabrescent (but minutely papillose); longitudinal veins 3 (including marginal veins), at angles of lamina.

Inflorescence a solitary axillary umbelliform raceme, with 4–6 flowers; pedicels ?cream-white, glabrous. Perianth cream-white. Pistil 3.8–4 mm long; gland absent.

Fruit shortly stalked, obliquely elliptic, 2.3–2.8 cm long, 1–1.6 cm wide, scarcely beaked; apiculum 2–4 mm long. Seed obliquely elliptic, c. 12 mm long, c. 5.5 mm wide; wing extending narrowly and fully down both sides of body, blackish brown.

Distribution and ecology

A very rare and restricted species, known from only a few localities in the southern Blue Mtns, N.S.W. Occurs on sandstone outcrops in eucalypt open forest.

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

Named after the original discoverer and collector of this species, Michael Doherty of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.



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.  


This species was listed in N.S.W. as Hakea 'sp. B' in M.Fisher et al., The natural vegetation of the Burragorang 1:100,000 map sheet, Cunninghamia 4(2): 143–215 (1995).

H. dohertyi was the subject of an M.Sc. study by G.L.Steenbeeke at the University of Sydney in 1995 but this thesis has not been published. Steenbeeke found that seed stored on the plant had a high germination rate but the viablility of stored seed decreased with time and after 10 years all stored seeds were dead. Germination was predicted to occur in the cooler months between May and August and this prediction would be supported by the study of Offord et al. (2003) who found that H. dohertyi is best germinated at 15ºC and will germinate within 14 days. Higher temperatures lead to slower and lower percentages of germination.

Because H. dohertyi is fire-killed the greatest threat to its existence would be a series of fires that killed plants before they were able to reproduce. Steenbeeke indicated that at least 5 years was required for H. dohertyi to produce flowers and fruits.

References:  Offord, C., Mckensy, M., Brien, J., Errington, G. & Cuneo, P. (2003). Germination and ex situ storage of Hakea dohertyi (Proteaceae) seed. Cunninghamia 8(1): 129–132; Steenbeeke, G. L. (1995). Population attributes of the serotinous rare species Hakea sp. B. (Harden, 1991) Unpublished thesis, MSc,University of Sydney.

Conservation status

This species was treated, under Hakea sp. 2 (Kowmung River; M.Doherty 17–24), as 'Endangered' in J.D.Briggs & J.H.Leigh, Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (1995).

See the listing for H. dohertyi as an Endangered species under the Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Hakea dohertyi: approved conservation advice (approved Oct. 2008).

A profile of the Kowmung Hakea as an endangered species can be found on the Threatened Species site of the NSW Department of Environment & Conservation.

Representative specimens

No specimen localities are cited in view of its rarity.


Link to PlantNET treatment for NSW.


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


Images of Kowmung Hakea (H. dohertyi) can be found on the Threatened Species site of the NSW Department of Environment & Conservation.