Leaves and inflorescence; note the flowers in the upper axils towards the ends of branches. Photo I.Holliday

Leaf types; note the changes to a narrower tricuspidate leaf with time. Photo W.R.Barker

Leaves, inflorescences and fruit. Photo W.R.Barker

Inflorescence with young leaves. Photo W.R.Barker

Spiny fruit; the fruit has adopted the coloration of the leaves within the centre of the bush. Photo W.R.Barker

Fruit within the centre of the bush, below the inflorescences. Photo W.R.Barker

See note re this specimen. Photo I.Holliday


Hakea auriculata Meisn. & Kippist, Hooker's J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 7: 116 (1855)

T: Interior, north of Swan R., Western Australia, without date, J.Drummond 6: 197; holo: NY; iso: BM, CGE, G-DC (microfiche seen), K, MEL, OXF, PERTH (wrongly labelled as Drummond 6: 196).


Erect compact shrub, 0.4–1.5 m tall, ?lignotuberous. Branchlets glabrous or with upright hairs, glaucous. Leaves spathulate with tricuspidate apex, 2–5.5 cm long, 8–36 mm wide, usually auriculate, dentate for whole length or on auriculate base with teeth 1–10 mm long, glabrous, glaucous, narrower and spinier apically.

Inflorescence in upper axils, with 8–16 flowers; involucre 2 mm long; rachis 2–3 mm long, glabrous; pedicels 3–7 mm long, pink, not glaucous. Perianth 2.5–4.5 mm long, greenish white, cream-white or pink, glaucous. Pistil 7–10 mm long.

Fruit obliquely ovate, 1.5–2.5 cm long, pubescent, with scattered to moderately dense prickles. Seed 17–19 mm long; wing broad on one side, narrow on other or encircling seed body.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in sandy heaths (sometimes with laterite present) between Perth and Kalbarri, Western Australia, possibly as far north as Hamelin.

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 June–Oct. (–Nov.).

Derivation of name

Auriculata is the Latin for ear-shaped, a reference to the shape of the base of the leaf in tis species



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 specimen shown in image 6 has the narrower tricuspidate leaves typical of H. auriculata, but the red flowers in the lower axils more usually associated with H. denticulata . Whether this is part of the variation of H. auriculata or a hybrid from cultivation is not known. The lack of an associated herbarium specimen makes it difficult to be sure about its origins and highlights 

Representative specimens

W.A.: Mt Adams (W of Yandanooka), J.S.Beard 7229 (PERTH); 11 km E of Kalbarri on road to Ajana, M.J.Corrick 8253 (MEL); 7.6 km NW along Burma Rd from junction with Strawberry North-East Rd, A.S.George 16836 (PERTH); Western Titanium Leases, 8 km S of Eneabba, 13 Sept. 1977, R.Hnatiuk s.n. (PERTH); 7 km NW of Badgingarra, P.Wilson 3811 (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

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 20-21 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 14 (2006)


James Drummond's 1853 description

A species growing on the ironstone hills to the north of Dundaragan with H. conchifolia and "resembling H. attenuata, but the flowers are white, and they are only produced at the termination of the strongest branches: the seed vessels are echinate as in H. lehmanniana and defended by formidable tricuspidate bracts".

James Drummond in Hooker's Journal of Botany 5: 179 (1853)