Fruits, flowers and leaves. Photo W.R.Barker

Inflorescence and leaves. Photo W.R.Barker


Hakea actites W.R.Barker, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 17: 183 (1996)

T: northern boundary of Angourie, c. 1 km N of town centre by main road, N.S.W., 9 Sept. 1988, W.R.Barker 5626 et al.; holo: AD; iso: AD, to be distributed.

Hakea sp. 2, E.M.Ross in T.D.Stanley & E.M.Ross, Fl. SE Queensland 2: 22 (1986).

Hakea sp. aff. propinqua, N.C.W.Beadle, Stud. Fl. NE New South Wales 247 (1972), p.p., as to coast plants.

Hakea sp. A aff. propinqua, S.W.L.Jacobs & J.Pickard, Pl. New South Wales 180 (1981), p.p., as to north coast N.S.W. and some Qld occurrences.

[Hakea gibbosa auct. non (Sm.) Cav.: F.M.Bailey, Queensland Fl. 4: 1349 (1901); F.M.Bailey, Comp. Cat. Queensland Pl. 454 (1913)]


Shrub or rarely small tree, 0.3–5 m tall, lignotuberous. Branchlets densely pale-lenticellate, ribbed, densely tomentose to densely appressed-pubescent or -sericeous, glabrescent by flowering or not. Leaves narrowly divergent, somewhat rigid to flexible, terete, usually not grooved, rarely grooved at very base below, (3.5–) 5.5–10.5 (–13.5) cm long, 0.8–1.3 mm wide, smooth or densely longitudinally wrinkled, moderately appressed-pubescent or moderately to densely appressed-sericeous, quickly glabrescent; mucro porrect, (0.8–) 0.9–1.4 (–2.2) mm long.

Inflorescence axillary umbel of 1–6 flowers; rachis elongated or knob-like, simple, 0.6–1 mm long, densely woolly-tomentose with ferruginous hairs; pedicels 1.8–3 mm long, sparsely to densely appressed-sericeous, with white and ferruginous hairs. Perianth 3.1–4.3 mm long, white, glabrous, often glaucous. Pistil 6.7–8 mm long.

Fruit ovate to obovate, usually obliquely so, 2.2–3.4 cm long, 1.6–2.5 cm wide, smooth, minutely to finely lenticellate, or moderately to coarsely pustulate or with ruptured crests; beak transverse or oblique and long-decurrent down one side of fruit body; horns and apiculum obscure. Seed 1.6–2.5 cm long, (0.8–) 0.9–1.1 mm wide; wing decurrent usually fully down both sides, narrower on pale wood zone side, rarely absent, black or dark blackish brown sometimes with yellow patches.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs between Hervey Bay, south-eastern Qld, and just north of Coffs Harbour in north-eastern N.S.W. Found in sand, in swampy low lying areas, in open heath (wallum) and in Eucalyptus 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 May–Sept.

Derivation of name

From the Greek, aktites, coast-dweller, a reference to coastal regions where this species is found.



Part of Section Hakea of Bentham (as Euhakea) and characterised by a non-conical pollen presenter, leaves without obvious venation, perianths with or without hairs and fruits with or without horns. Barker et al. (1999) recognised a number of informal morphological groups within the section.

H. actites was treated as part of the Sericea group, a predominantly eastern states group characterised by their simple terete leaves, few-flowered inflorescences, hairy pedicels and solitary, prominently woody fruits, these often markedly verrucose or pusticulate and usually with horns.

Other members of the group are H. constablei, H. decurrens, H. gibbosa, H. kippistiana, H. leucoptera, H. lissosperma, H. macraeana, H. macrorrhyncha, H. ochroptera, H. sericea and H. tephrosperma, predominantly from the eastern states. 


Within the Sericea Group this species has very distinctive smooth-walled fruit with a smooth long-decurrent beak and horns displaced well down from the fruit apex. It differs from H. sericea by its appressed-sericeous pedicels, shorter horns, and different fruit shape, and from H. lissosperma by its ferruginous tomentum on the young branchlets, shorter pedicels and pistil, more prominent and oblique beak, and the long decurrent seed wing.

Representative specimens

Qld: Toolara State Forest c. 40 km NE of Gympie, S.L.Everist 7910 (BRI, CANB); 1.6 km NE of Landsborough, J.H.Ross 3182 (BRI, CANB). N.S.W.: Arrawarra, c. 6 km N of Woolgoolga, D.B.Foreman 964 (AD, MEL); 1.6 km NW of Brooms Head on coast SE of Maclean, D.J.McGillivray 2219 (AD, NSW).


Link to PlantNET treatment for NSW.


Link to the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) pages on Hakea. This species is mentioned here under H. gibbosa since it was previously known under this name.


An image with some background and cultivation information for this species can be seen on the Yallaroo site. Yallaroo is situated on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, west of Armidale.