Leaves and inflorescences. Photo I.Holliday

Note leaf bases and conical pollen presenters. Photo I.Holliday

Fruits (arrowed) may be difficult to find. Photo I.Holliday


Hakea sulcata R.Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 180 (1810)

T: Bay I, South Coast, [Lucky Bay, W.A.], Jan. 1802, R.Brown 8; holo: BM.


Erect or spreading shrub, 0.5–1.5 m tall, non-sprouting. Branchlets sparsely to densely appressed-pubescent at flowering, sometimes patchily glabrescent. Leaves usually subterete, thick, slightly to markedly compressed-pentagonal to -heptagonal in cross-section, shallowly grooved longitudinally, 2–9 (–12.5) cm long, 1–2 mm diam., glabrous; longitudinal veins 6 or 7 all around (2 marginal, 3 below and 1 or 2 above), alternating with grooves. Leaves rarely flat or concave, linear to very narrowly obovate, 2–6 mm wide, with prominent marginal veins and longitudinal veins 3 below, 1 above (sometimes upper vein obscure).

Inflorescence a solitary axillary umbelliform raceme, with 8–14 flowers; pedicels cream-white, glabrous. Perianth cream-white. Pistil 5–9.5 mm long; gland subglobular, ±compressed, 0.2 mm high.

Fruit 1–3 per axil, scarcely woody, sessile, obliquely ovate-acuminate (almost straight abaxially), usually slightly recurved, 0.6–0.8 cm long, 0.3–0.35 cm wide, scarcely beaked but with prominent readily broken apiculum. Seed ±elliptic-rhombic, 4.8–5.5 mm long, very shortly winged; wing extending very narrowly down both sides and around base of body, sometimes notched, dark blackish brown.

Distribution and ecology

Extends from near Jurien Bay to Israelite Bay, and inland as far as about Katanning, including the Stirling Ra., W.A. Usually grows in seasonal swamps in white or grey lateritic sand with clay subsoil, in swamp heath surrounded by mallee-heath or forest.

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 Aug.–Nov.

Derivation of name

From sulcatus, Latin for grooved or furrowed, a reference to the longitudinal grooves in 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, 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.


Hakea sulcata is moderately uniform in leaf morphology throughout its range, having narrow 5–7-angled leaves, but unusually broad-leaved populations occur in the Scott R. district east of Augusta and in the vicinity of the Hay R., east of Denmark.

Hakea gilbertii is similar to H. sulcata but differs in its much larger fruit, slightly more slender leaves with exceptionally long-acuminate needle-sharp mucro, elongate racemes and paler seeds with a much larger wing.

 The name H. sulcata has been widely misapplied to related species with terete furrowed leaves, notably H. invaginata and H. scoparia when these species have been grown as ornamentals. Hakea sulcata is quite distinct, especially in its inconspicuous tiny fruit, the smallest in the genus.

Representative specimens

W.A.: c. 15 km W of Woodanilling, A.S.George 14928 (PERTH); Brixton Rd, Beckenham, 15 km E of Perth, G.J.Keighery 7444 (PERTH); 8 km E of Cape Le Grand, P.G.Wilson 5635 (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

Further illustrations

J.Young, Hakeas of W. Australia, Botanical District of Avon 23, 104 (1997)

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 200-1 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 112 (2006).