Foliage and flowers. Photo L.Haegi

Inflorescences at different stages of development. Photo I.Holliday

Inflorescences at different stages of development; note the colour changes with time and the shape of the pollen presenter.  Photo I.Holliday


Hakea pycnoneura Meisn., Hooker's J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 7: 117 (1855)

T: Swan River colony, [Dandaragan to Champion Bay, W.A.], s.d. [1851], J.Drummond 6: 193; syn: BM, CGE, K, MEL, NY, OXF, P.

An image of the NY type specimen of Drummond 193 can be seen on the New York Botanical Garden site.


Rounded shrub, 0.8–2.5 m tall, non-sprouting. Branchlets densely appressed-pubescent at flowering, sometimes patchily glabrescent. Leaves thick, linear, flat, 9–20 cm long, 1.5–7 mm wide, glabrescent; prominently veined with longitudinal veins 1–3 or obscure above, 3–5 below.

Inflorescence a solitary axillary umbelliform raceme, with 50–80 flowers; pedicels glabrous, mauve or purple. Perianth cream to orange-pink. Pistil 13–16 mm long; gland an obtriangular flap, 0.5–0.7 mm high.

Fruit 1–9 per axil, stalked, obliquely elliptic, ±straight, 1.5–2.5 cm long, 0.8–1.2 cm wide, acuminate, scarcely beaked but with a prominent weak apiculum. Seed obliquely elliptic, 11–14.5 mm long, 5.5–7 mm wide; wing extending fully down both sides of body but more broadly down one side and narrowly around base, sometimes notched adaxially near base, blackish brown, sometimes with paler patches.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in south-western W.A. from near Kalbarri south-east to near Morawa, with a curious disjunct occurrence at Mt Ragged, nearly 900 km to the south-east; grows in heath or shrubland, sometimes abundantly, in sandy loam over laterite, sandstone or quartzite.

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–Aug.

Derivation of name

From pycno-, Greek for dense or thick and neuro, Greek for nerve, a reference to the prominent veins on the leaves of this species.



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, subsulcata and H. ulicina, mostly from southern WA but also from south-eastern Australia.  


Hakea pycnoneura is variable with respect to leaf width. The lateral longitudinal veins on the underside of the leaf are very close to the prominent marginal veins and somewhat distant from the midvein, almost giving the appearance of a dual marginal vein.

Specimens apparently intermediate between H. scoparia and H. pycnoneura occur on Mt Ragged. This location is considerably disjunct for both species but especially so for H. pycnoneura. Further investigations are required to determine the correct placement of these specimens.

 Hakea pycnoneura is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental.

Representative specimens

W.A.: Z Bend, Murchison R., Kalbarri Natl Park, A.C.Burns 9 (AD, PERTH); East Yuna Reserve, A.C.Burns 13 (PERTH); Mt Ragged, 190 km E of Esperance, R.J.Donovan 1 (PERTH); 27 km E of Mingenew, K.Newbey 2123 (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

A.S.George, Introd. Proteaceae W. Australia pl. 108 (1984);

J.W.Wrigley & M.Fagg, Banksias, Waratahs & Grevilleas 385 (1989);

J.Young, Hakeas of W. Australia, Botanical District of Avon 21, 90 (1997)

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 174-5 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 97 (2006)