Leaves and inflorescences; note the straight buds. Photo I.Holliday


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

T: Bay I, South Coast, [Lucky Bay, Western Australia], 1802, R.Brown s.n.; syn: BM, K p.p.; Hort. Kew, Apr. 1808, ?R.Brown s.n.; ?syn: BM.

Hakea pycnobotrys F.Muell., Fragm. 5: 72 (1865). T: Gardner R., Western Australia, without date, G.Maxwell s.n.; syn: MEL 674363; Esperance, Western Australia, without date, G.Maxwell s.n.; ?syn: B, K p.p.; South West Bay, Western Australia, without date, A.F.Oldfield s.n.; syn: MEL 674364.


Shrub, 0.25–3 m tall, lignotuberous or not. Branchlets glabrous, not glaucous. Leaves subpetiolate, flat, rigid, narrowly elliptic to obovate, 1.5–9 cm long, (4–) 10–30 mm wide, narrowly cuneate, usually with 1–6 mucronate teeth 1–4 mm long per side, rarely entire, glabrous or appressed-sericeous, glaucous.

Inflorescence axillary or terminal on short shoots with 16–36 flowers; involucre 6.5 mm long; rachis 6–16 mm long, tomentose or appressed-pubescent, with hairs white; pedicels 4–8 mm long. Perianth 2.5–3.5 mm long, white or pale yellow. Pistil 3.5–4 mm long.

Fruit obliquely ovate, 2.5–3.5 cm long, 1.5–2.5 cm wide, black-pusticulate, not apiculate; horns 4–6 mm long. Seed narrowly obovate, c. 24 mm long; wing broadly down one side of seed body, narrowly down other.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in southern Western Australia from Mt Randall and Busselton to Eucla. Found in mallee woodland or heath, usually on sand or sandy clay.

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 (May–) July–Sept.

Derivation of name

From nitidus, Latin for shining or polished. Brown described the leaves of H. nitida as such in his first description of the species in 1810.



Previously treated as Sect. Manglesioidesof Bentham. Sect. Manglesioides is characterised by a conical pollen presenter, obscurely veined leaves, glabrous perianths which are straight in bud and fruits with distinct horns. Treated as the Lissocarpha group in Barker et al. and having the same species as in Bentham's section.

Probably closest to Bentham's Section Conogynoides Series Enerves (the Varia group of Barker et al., 1999), since they share a conical pollen presenter, leaves without obvious venation and fruits with horns, but differ by the curved buds of the Varia group as opposed to the straight buds of the Lissocarpha group. Neither of these informal groups is considered to be part of Sect. Conogynoides.  


Members of the group are  H. drupacea, H. lissocarpha, H. nitida and H. oldfieldii, and all are found in SW Western Australia.  The first three of these also produce pink pollen, another characteristic which is unusual in Hakea.


The only other species outside this group to exhibit the characteristic of straight buds is another species from the south-west, H. newbeyana .


Hakea nitida apparently displays a number of different vegetative reproductive strategies. Groom & Lamont (1996) record the species as being both a lignotuberous resprouter and an epicormic resprouter, while Stuckey (pers. comm.) noted that it was normally killed by fire, implying that a lignotuber is not present.

Representative specimens

Western Australia: 29 km due N of Clyde Hill, M.A.Burgman & S.McNee MAB1823 (PERTH); 10 km on N road to Jerdacuttup, H.Demarz 1082 (PERTH); South Dongolocking Reserve, G.J.Keighery 6921 (PERTH); 8 km N of Israelite Bay, E.C.Nelson ANU16515 (CANB).


Link to FloraBase treatment of this species for WA.


For further information and images of this species in the Esperance region of Western Australia see William Archer’s Hakea page in Esperance Wildflowers


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 384 (1988).

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 142-3 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 77 (2006)