Habit and habitat, SW WA. Photo W.R.Barker

Young growth. Photo W.R.Barker

Leaves and flowers. Photo W.R.Barker

Leaves and flowers. Photo W.R.Barker

Flowers have just, or are about to, release their pollen presenters. Photo W.R.Barker

Older inflorescence, still with buds present. Photo W.R.Barker

Single fruit from an old inflorescence. Photo W.R.Barker

A closed and open fruit; note the lack of wood development and the seed occupying all of the valve face. Photo W.R.Barker


Hakea amplexicaulis R.Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 184 (1810)

T: Observatory Hill, Princess Royal Harbour, [Western Australia], Dec. 1801, R.Brown 23; ?holo: BM (Iter Austral. 3353 — no other Brown duplicates found).

Hakea triformis Lindl., Sketch Veg. Swan R. xxxxi (1840). T: Swan R., Western Australia, 1839, J.Drummond s.n.; syn: BM (2 collections on the 1 sheet), CGE.

Hakea amplexicaulis var. latifolia Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss. 1: 566 (1845). T: Swan R., W.A, without date, J.Drummond s.n.; holo: G-DC (microfiche seen); iso: CGE; ?iso: K.

Hakea amplexicaulis var. angustifolia Meisn., in J.G.C.Lehmann, Pl. Preiss. 1: 566 (1845). T: from Greenmountain [Greenmount] to Halfwayhouse, Western Australia, 13 Sept. 1839, L.Preiss 548; syn: B, BR, CGE, G-DC (microfiche seen), HBG, L, LD, LE, M, MEL, NY, TCD (anomalous no. Preiss 844), W; Western Australia, without date, J.Drummond 1: 610; syn: BM, CGE, G, K, LE, OXF, P, W; Western Australia, Plantagenet district [between Lake Matilda, Albany and Two Peoples Bay], Nov. 1840, L.Preiss 549; syn: LD.

An image of theLeiden type specimen of Preiss 548 can be seen on the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland site.


Straggling or erect, single or few-stemmed shrub, 1–3 m tall, lignotuberous. Branchlets glabrous. Leaves narrowly ovate or ovate throughout, 3–18 cm long, 20–65 mm wide, amplexicaul, dentate with 12–30 2–6 mm long teeth per side, glabrous, glaucous.

Inflorescence on short glabrous axillary peduncle, with c. 36–42 flowers; involucre 11–14 mm long; rachis 5–10.5 mm long, villous; pedicels 6–14 mm long, glabrous. Perianth 4–6 mm long, white, often pink-tinged. Pistil 8–14.5 mm long.

Fruit obliquely ovate, 3–3.5 cm long, smooth apart from small protuberances along valve, glabrous. Seed obliquely ovate, 26–30 mm long, 9–11 mm wide; wing partly down one side of seed body only if at all.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in south-western Western Australia from Perth to Albany, in Jarrah forests in sand or ironstone gravel.

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 (July–) Aug.–Oct. (–Dec.)

Derivation of name

Amplexicaulis is the Latin for stem-clasping, a reference to the surrounding of the stem by the leaf base.



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.

The Prostrata group all share the characteristics of flat leaves with toothed margins, glabrous pedicel and perianth, oblique pollen presenter and non-woody, spiny, obscurely-horned, camouflaged fruits which are not retained for any length of time on the bushes.

Members of the group are H. amplexicaulis, H. auriculata, H. denticulata, H. prostrata, H. pritzelii and H. spathulata, all from SW WA.


The glabrous short shoot or peduncle in the leaf axil, on which the inflorescence sits, enables easy separation of this species from H. auriculata with which it has often been confused.

Representative specimens

W.A.: Meelup Beach Rd, c. 1 km from turnoff from Dunsborough to Cape Naturaliste road, L.Haegi 2527 & P.Short (AD, MEL); Mundaring, R.Helms s.n. (PERTH); Gooseberry Hill, Darling Ra., A.Morrison s.n. (BRI); Helena Valley, J.Seabrook (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 67, pl. 95 (1984).

J.W.Wrigley & M.Fagg, Banksias, Waratahs & Grevilleas 365 (1988).

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 16-17 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 11 (2006)