Habit. Photo I.Holliday

Inflorescences at different stages. Photo I.Holliday

Inflorescences. Photo I.Holliday

Note yellow pollen on pollen presenters. Photo I.Holliday

Note conical pollen presenters. Photo I.Holliday


Hakea gilbertii Kippist, Hooker's J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 7: 115 (1855)

Hakea sulcata var. gilbertii (Kippist) Benth., Fl. Austral. 5: 529 (1870). T: without specific locality, [W.A.], s.d., J.Gilbert s.n.; holo: K.


Erect to narrowly erect shrub, 0.6–2 m tall, non-sprouting. Branchlets densely appressed-pubescent at flowering, rarely glabrescent. Leaves ±terete, slightly compressed, stellate in cross-section, deeply but openly grooved longitudinally, 2–9.5 cm long, 0.9–1.1 mm diam., glabrous; longitudinal veins 6 all around, at angles.

Inflorescence a solitary axillary moderately elongate raceme, with 24–34 flowers; pedicels glabrous or sparsely hirsute. Perianth deep pink in bud, white at anthesis. Pistil 8.5–9.5 mm long; gland obtriangular.

Fruit 1–3 per axil, shortly stalked, obliquely elliptic, slightly curved, 1.1–1.4 cm long, 8–10 mm wide, acuminate, scarcely beaked but with weak apiculum. Seed obliquely elliptic, 9–10.5 mm long, 4.5–5 mm wide; wing extending broadly down one side of body, where broadly notched at base, narrowly down other, where lacerated, sepia to dark brown with blackish brown streaks.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in south-western W.A. especially in the heathlands to the north of Perth, as far as Three Springs, with scattered populations south-east to Katanning and Kulin. Grows in sandy or clay, usually gravelly, lateritic 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 Aug.–Sept.

Derivation of name

Named after John Gilbert (?1810-1845), collector of the type specimen of this species. Gilbert was primarily an ornithologist collecting for John Gould but also made plant collections. He was killed by aborigines on Leichhardt's successful Port Essington expedition.



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.  

The sulcate-leaved members of this group are H. gilbertii, H. invaginata, H. meisneriana, H. rigida, H. scoparia, H. sulcata and H. subsulcata.


Hakea gilbertii is similar to H. sulcata ; see under that species for distinguishing features.

The lower leaves on each branchlet in H. gilbertii are characteristically bent back, and the inflorescences are usually grouped distally on the branchlets. The involucral bracts are sometimes persistent during flowering.

Representative specimens

W.A.: c. 16 km SW of Three Springs, R.Berg 118A (PERTH); c. 21 km W of Woodanilling, A.S.George 14929 (PERTH); 7 km SSW of Eneabba, E.A.Griffin 990 (CANB, 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.Young, Hakeas of W. Australia, Botanical District of Avon 15, 48 (1997)

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 90-1(2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 48 (2006)