Leaves, inflorescences at different stages of development on old wood, fruits. Photo I.Holliday

Fruits and inflorescences developing from old wood below leaves. Photo I.Holliday


Hakea subsulcata Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss. 1: 555 (1845)

T: in glareosis illustribus sylvae inter praedia rustica Dom. Barker & Lennard [between holdings of Mr Barker, probably near York, and Mr Lennard, near Guildford, W.A.], 12 Apr. 1840, L.Preiss 607, (Sem. n. 72); syn: B, G, ?G-DC, LD, LE p.p., MEL, NY.

An image of the NY type specimen of Preiss 607 can be seen on the New York Botanical Garden site.


Erect to spreading cauliflorous shrub, 1–3 m tall, non-sprouting. Branchlets densely appressed-pubescent at flowering (woody flowering branches glabrescent). Leaves ±terete, finely striated, 3–12.5 cm long, 0.8–1 mm diam., sparsely appressed-pubescent to glabrous; longitudinal veins 12 all around, from near base for entire length.

Inflorescence a ±spherical umbel, 1 or 2 per node on bare wood below leafy parts, rarely axillary, with c. 50 flowers per umbel; pedicels purple, glabrous. Perianth mauve. Pistil 10–13.5 mm long, cream; gland rounded obtriangular.

Fruit 1–20 per node, shortly stalked, obliquely oblong-elliptic, slightly curved at apex, 1.4–1.8 cm long, 7–9 mm wide, not beaked but shortly apiculate. Seed obliquely obovate, 10.5–14 mm long, 4–6 mm wide; wing extending broadly down one side of body only, sometimes notched, blackish brown.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in inland south-western W.A. from near Southern Cross south to Ravensthorpe and west to Pingrup and Corrigin. Grows in lateritic gravelly loam, sometimes in association with ranges, in 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 May–Aug.

Derivation of name

From sub-, Latin for somewhat and sulcatus, Latin for grooved or furrowed, a reference to the finely grooved 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, 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.  


Among the terete-leaved Western Australian species, H. subsulcata is distinctive particularly in being cauliflorous, but also in having very slender leaves.

Representative specimens

W.A.: Mt Short, N of Ravensthorpe, A.S.George 4438 (PERTH); Parker Ra., SE of Southern Cross, G.J.Keighery 6487 (CANB, PERTH); North Ironcap, K.Newbey 5209 (PERTH).


Link to FloraBase treatment of this species for WA.

A photograph of this species can be seen on the Australian National Botanic Gardens site.

Further illustrations

J.Young, Hakeas of W. Australia, Botanical District of Avon 22, 102 (1997)

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 198-9 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 111 (2006).