Photo  I.Holliday

Photo  I.Holliday

Photo   W.R.Barker

Photo   W.R.Barker

Photo  I.Holliday

Hooker's Icones Plantarum t. 433 (1842).


Hakea platysperma Hook., Icon. Pl. 5: t. 433 (1841)

T: Swan R. Colony, Western Australia, J.Drummond s.n.; holo: not located.


Single-stemmed spreading shrub, 1–2 m tall, often slightly wider than high. Branchlets and young leaves appressed-pubescent, ferruginous. Leaves terete, 3–15.5 cm long, 1.4–3 mm wide, constricted at base and yellowish for c. 5 mm, ungrooved; mucro 1–4.5 mm long.

Inflorescence axillary with 1–7 flowers; rachis obscure; pedicels 4.5–8 mm long, densely appressed-pubescent, with hairs dark brown. Perianth 5.5–6.5 mm long, cream-white becoming pink internally, appressed-pubescent, with white and ferruginous hairs externally. Pistil 15–17.5 mm long; pollen presenter 3–3.5 mm long.

Fruit globose, 4.5–7.5 cm long, 3.8–6.5 cm wide, smooth; beak absent; apiculum obscure, lateral. Seed circular, 33–46 mm diam.; wing encircling seed body.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in Western Australia from Three Springs east to Koolyanobbing and Boorabbin and south to Hyden; grows in sandy heaths, the sand white or yellow and often over laterite.

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 July–Oct.

Derivation of name

From platys, Greek for broad and sperma, Greek for seed, a reference to the large round seed 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.

The tiny lateral apiculum of the fruit of this species (as in H. incrassata ) suggests that there could be some relationship to the S-shaped fruits of the Rostrata group. However on morphological grounds H. platysperma was grouped with H. orthorrhyncha in Barker et al. (1999) to form the Platysperma group. While sharing most of the characters of the Ceratophylla (flat leaves) and Obliqua (terete leaves) groups, both species have a lateral pollen presenter and terete leaves and so they were treated as a separate group. Both species have the large U-shaped gland which is also a feature of the Ceratophylla and Obliqua groups.


Groom & Lamont (pers. comm.) noted that this species sprouts epicormically.

Note the "cup" of nectar which is advertised by this species. The red colouration of the gland and the lateral pollen presenter suggests that bird pollination is likely although honey possums may also be effective as pollinators.  

Representative specimens

Western Australia: Tammin Reserve, H.Demarz 9281 (PERTH); c. 30 km E of Emu Hill, on Emu Hill East Rd, D.B.Foreman 1159 (AD, MEL, NSW); Mortlock Flora Reserve, c. 2.5 km E of St Leonards, N of Wongan–Piawanning road, K.F.Kenneally 5839 (MEL, PERTH); 67 km E of Hyden, K.Newbey 1137 (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

 I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 162-3 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 91(2006)