Characteristic curled leaves. Photo W.Tinker

Foliage and flowers. Photo W.Tinker

Hooker's Icones Plantarum t. 444 (1842).


Hakea stenocarpa R.Br., Suppl. Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl. 29 (1830)

T: Swan River, towards the source, [W.A.], 1827, C.Fraser 20; probable holo: BM (received May 1828 from Mr Macleay); iso: CGE p.p., ?K.


Bushy shrub, 0.5–1 m tall, resprouting from base. Branchlets ±glabrous at flowering. Leaves flexible, linear, flat, twisted at base and often spirally twisted or curled along length, 6–11 cm long, 2–7 mm wide, ±glabrous but papillose; marginal veins prominent; midvein prominent above and below; pinnate secondary veins scarcely visible.

Inflorescence a solitary axillary umbelliform raceme, with 14–20 flowers; pedicels cream-white, glabrous. Perianth cream-white. Pistil 4.4–5 mm long; gland a small flap, c. 0.5 mm high.

Fruit subsessile, obliquely narrowly ovate to almost linear, slightly to markedly curved, 2.8–3 cm long, 0.6–0.8 cm wide, with long narrow beak grading into a fragile slender apiculum. Seed obliquely narrowly elliptic, 16–17.5 mm long; wing extending more broadly or only down adaxial side of body, blackish brown.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in south-western W.A., from the Darling Ra. and foothills south-east of Perth to the sand plains north of Perth, as far north as the Greenough R. Scattered populations occur east to Koorda and Merredin and south to Busselton. Grows in sandy soil, sometimes over laterite, in low open scrub heath.

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 Sept.–Oct.

Derivation of name

From stenos, Greek for narrow and carpus, Greek for fruit, a reference to the narrow fruit 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.  

Representative specimens

W.A.: between Toodyay and Bindoon, C.A.Gardner 8705 (PERTH); Helena Valley, J.Seabrook 405 (PERTH); near Moore R., 2.5 km from intersection with Brand Hwy along road to Mogumber, A.Strid 20614 (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. 104 (1984)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 107 (2006)