Inflorescences at various stages. Photo I. Holliday

Foliage, inflorescences at various stages. Photo I. Holliday

Photo I. Holliday

Foliage and fruits. Photo W.R.Barker


Hakea obtusa Meisn., in A.L.P.P. de Candolle, Prodr. 14: 411 (1856)

T: Swan River colony, [vicinity of Mt Barren Ra., W.A.], s.d. [1848], J.Drummond 5: 409; syn: BM, G, K, LE, OXF, MEL, P, PERTH, TCD.


Rounded cauliflorous shrub, 1–3 m tall, non-sprouting. Branchlets densely appressed-sericeous at flowering (woody flowering branches glabrous). Leaves narrowly oblong-elliptic, 3–10 cm long, 9–23 mm wide, narrowly cuneate at base, obtuse to acute, bright green, quickly glabrescent; longitudinal veins 3; secondary veins not visible.

Inflorescences at nodes on bare wood below leafy parts, rarely axillary, with 40–50 flowers; pedicels 3.5–4.5 mm long, glabrous. Perianth (and pistil) opening white, soon deep pink. Pistil 18.2–20.7 mm long; gland a V-shaped flap, 0.5–0.7 mm high.

Fruit 1–7 per node, often fused together, obliquely ovate-elliptic, 1.8–2.8 cm long, 0.1–1.3 cm wide, curved at base, shortly beaked, narrowly flanged adaxially. Seed obliquely narrowly ovate, 13–17 mm long; wing extending down both sides of body and very narrowly around base, notched on one side, blackish brown.

Distribution and ecology

Confined to the Fitzgerald R. area and Mt Short, near Ravensthorpe, in south-western W.A. Occurs in mallee-heath in lateritic, sometimes clay, loam.

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–Sept.

Derivation of name

From obtusus, Latin for blunt, presumably a reference to the leaves which are often blunt at the apex.



Part of Sect. Conogynoides recognised by Bentham (1870) and characterised by a conical pollen presenter, veined leaves, glabrous perianth and fruits without horns.


Within this section 3 species were assigned to the informal Petiolaris group by Barker et al. (1999). This group of Hakea species was combined morphologically because they all have flat, subpetiolate leaves, unusual spherical or sub-spherical inflorescences, long pistils and down-curved fruits.


Species are H. laurina, H. obtusa and H. petiolaris, all from SW WA. The monophyly or otherwise of the group has still to be tested.


Sparingly cultivated.

Conservation status

This species is recognised as 'Poorly Known' in J.D.Briggs & J.H.Leigh, Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (1995).

Representative specimens

W.A.: N side of Fitzgerald R., K.M.Allen 306 (AD, PERTH); 3 km S of Ravensthorpe, E.M.Bennett 2191 (PERTH); lower slopes of Mt Short, R.W.Purdie 5376 (CANB).


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

A.S.George, Introd. Proteaceae W. Australia pl. 100 (1984).

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 148-9 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 80 (2006)