Habit. Photo I.Holliday

Inflorescences, leaves and involucral bud. Photo W.R.Barker

Inflorescences at different stages of development; note the yellow pollen on pollen presenters on the bottom left. Photo I.Holliday

Inflorescences at different stages of development; note the coloured pedicels. Photo W.R.Barker

Inflorescences at different stages of development; note the change from cream to pinkish with age. Photo W.R.Barker

Fruits and inflorescences at different stages of development. Photo I.Holliday

Fruits. Photo I.Holliday


Hakea scoparia Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss. 1: 556 (1845) subsp. scoparia

Hakea sulcata var. scoparia (Meisn.) Benth., Fl. Austral. 5: 529 (1870). T: Swan River Colony, [W.A.], s.d. [c. 1841], J.Drummond 1: 600; syn: ?B, BM, G, K, LE p.p., MEL, NY, P, PERTH. An image of the NY type specimen can be seen on the New York Botanical Garden site.


Rounded shrub with ascending branches, 1–3.5 m tall, non-sprouting. Branchlets tomentose to appressed-pubescent at flowering, sometimes patchily glabrescent. Leaves ±terete, sometimes compressed, stellate or pentagonal in cross-section, deeply but openly grooved longitudinally, 12–27 cm long, 1.5–2 mm diam., glabrescent; longitudinal veins 5 all around, at angles.

Inflorescence a solitary axillary umbelliform raceme, with 50–70 flowers; pedicels glabrous. Perianth cream, ageing pink or orange-pink. Pistil 13–15 mm long; gland an obtriangular flap, 0.5–0.7 mm high.

Fruit 1–8 per axil, stalked, obliquely ovate-elliptic, ±straight, 1.7–2.0 cm long, 0.8–1.0 cm wide, acuminate, with prominent black-pusticulate tubercles, scarcely beaked but with prominent readily broken apiculum. Seed obliquely ovate, 10–15 mm long, 5–6 mm wide; wing extending (broadly and fully) down one side of body only, not notched, blackish brown.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in inland south-western W.A. from Yuna south through Wongan Hills, Bruce Rock and Kulin and east to Hyden and Frank Hann Natl Park. Found on yellow sand plain in mallee heath or in lateritic sand, sometimes on breakaways or on hills, or in association with granite outcrops.

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 scoparius, Latin for broom or thin twigs.


How the infraspecific taxa differ

The subspecies differ in fruit length, 1.7-2 cm long in subsp. scoparia vs 2.2-2.5 cm long for subsp. trycherica, and in the depth of the grooving of the leaves, with subsp. scoparia being deeply grooved between the 5 angles while subsp. trycherica is usually only shallowly concave.


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. 


The leaves are frequently galled, usually with a single swelling occurring at any point along the leaf. Sometimes grown as an ornamental, often wrongly under the name H. sulcata .

Representative specimens

Western Australia: 6.5 km E of Brookton on Corrigin road, M.I.H.Brooker 1872 (CANB, MEL, PERTH); 115 km NE of Lake King on track to Norseman, L.Haegi 1001 (AD, PERTH); 6 km S of Cadoux on Amery road, B.H.Smith 574 (AD, CANB, HO, MEL, NSW, PERTH).


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

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 190-1 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 103 (2006).