Photo by Melburnian from Bunyip State Forest in Victoria, reproduced from Wikimedia Commons


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

T: Wilson's Promontory, [Vic.], 1826, W.Baxter s.n.; syn: BM (mixed collection on one sheet).

Hakea ulicina angustifolia Meisn., in A.L.P.P. de Candolle, Prodr. 14: 415 (1856). T: Twofold Bay, [N.S.W.], s.d., W.Baxter s.n.; syn: K p.p., NY; cult. in Horto quodam Anglico, 1832, Roeper s.n.; syn: K p.p., NY.


Erect shrub, 2–5 m tall, non-sprouting. Branchlets sparsely to moderately tomentose at flowering. Leaves narrowly linear, flat or trigonous, twisted through 90° at base, 3–18 cm long, 1.5–4 mm wide, glabrous; marginal veins prominent; longitudinal veins prominent, 1–3 above and below; secondary veins obscure.

Inflorescence a solitary axillary umbelliform raceme, with 6–18 flowers; pedicels cream-white, glabrous. Perianth cream-white. Pistil 4–6 mm long; gland a small flap, 0.2–0.3 mm high.

Fruit shortly stalked, ovate or obliquely ovate, 1.6–2.5 cm long, 8–11 mm wide, shortly beaked, shortly apiculate. Seed obliquely narrowly obovate-elliptic, 10–16 mm long, 3.5–6 mm wide; wing extending partly down both sides of body, more broadly on adaxial side, blackish brown.

Distribution and ecology

Extends east from the Otway Ra. in southern Vic. to far south-eastern N.S.W. and to Flinders, Cape Barren and Clarke Is. in Bass Strait, Tas. A common understorey shrub in sclerophyll forest on the southern slopes of the Great Dividing Ra. and as a component of coastal heathlands, growing in acidic sandy to sandy loam soil.

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.–Sept.

Derivation of name

From ulex, Latin for the genus of plants which includes gorse or furze, presumably from a perceived resemblance in the habit or 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 ulicina is close to and previously encompassed H. repullulans . The latter differs principally in being lignotuberous and suckering but also in the usually much wider leaves (3-12 mm wide) and greater number of flowers in the inflorescence (10-36). H. ulicina has the more easterly distribution.

Further discussion of morphological and anatomical differences between H. ulicina and H. repullulans , including variation in adult and juvenile foliage can be found in Helen Lee (1984). The biology of Hakea ulicina R. Br. and H. repullulans H. M. Lee (Proteaceae). Australian Journal of Botany 32(6) 679 – 699.  

H. ulicina was cited erroneously by Lamont et al. (1987) as a synonym of H. cygna subsp. needlei q.v.

Conservation status

Hakea ulicina is listed as a vulnerable species in the List of Threatened Species forTasmania.

Representative specimens

N.S.W.: Bulls Ck, Green Cape Rd, 16 km S of Eden, 13 June 1960, E.F.Constable s.n. (BRI, DNA, NSW); Ben Boyd Natl Park, c. 1 km from Duckhole Rd along turnoff to Salt Water Ck, E.Mullins 491 (CANB, US). Vic.: 6 km from Anakie Junction towards Ballan (Brisbane Ra.), 7 Sept. 1966, E.J.Carroll (CANB); swamp 1.1 km S of Carrick Marsh, 17 km E of Stradbroke, P.K.Gullan 530 & N.G.Walsh (MEL). Tas.: Flinders Is., road N from Whitemark end of Darling Ra., 12 Dec. 1975, D.I.Morris (HO).


Link to PlantNET treatment.

A fact sheet for Hakea ulicina on the Bass Strait Islands where it is considered by the Tasmanian government to be a vulnerable species.


An image of H. ulicina on the Swinburne University of Technology site and another by Melburnian from the Wikimedia Commons site. The latter is reproduced in this fact sheet.


H. ulicina is featured in an early watercolour by Fanny Anne Charsley of the wildflowers around Melbourne. The watercolour can be seen on the National Gallery of Australia site.