Leaves and flowers. Photo I.Holliday


Hakea brachyptera Meisn., in A.L.P.P. de Candolle, Prodr. 14: 396 (1856)

T: Swan R., Western Australia, 1848, J.Drummond 4: 291; syn: B, BM, CGE, G, K, MEL, MO, NSW, NY p.p., OXF, P, PERTH, TCD; ?syn: K, MEL 675018, MEL 675017.An image of the NY type specimen of Drummond 291 can be seen on the New York Botanical Garden site.

Hakea brachyptera Meisn., Hooker's J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 4: 208 (1852), nom. nud.


Dense shrub, 0.4–1 m tall, ?non-lignotuberous. Branchlets and young leaves ferruginous. Leaves 3–9.5 cm long, 0.7–1.3 mm wide, not grooved, tomentose to appressed-pubescent, glabrescent; mucro erect.

Inflorescence with 1–5 flowers; involucre c. 2.5 mm long; pedicels 1.5–2.5 mm long, white appressed-pubescent. Perianth 2–2.3 mm long; hairs white on claw, ferruginous on limb. Pistil 3–3.4 mm long; disc of pollen presenter 0.5–0.6 mm long; gland 0.1–0.2 mm high.

Fruit inserted at right angles to stalk, obliquely ovate, 2–2.8 cm long, 1.7–2 cm wide, rugose-reticulate, ?sparsely pubescent, obscurely apiculate. Seed 17–20 mm long, occupying almost whole valve; wing encircling seed-body.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in south-western Western Australia from Wagin to L. Magenta and south to near the Stirling Ra., in sand.

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 brachys, Greek for short and pteron, Greek for wing, a reference to the seed wing of this 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.

Within this section 5 species were assigned to the informal Obliqua group by Barker et al. (1999). The group is close to the Ceratophylla group, sharing the morphological characteristics of few-flowered inflorescences with pubescent flowers on an obscure rachis, oblique pollen presenters and distinctly woody fruits without horns and usually without beaks and seed in which the wing encircles the seed body; the groups differ in the terete leaves of this group compared with the flat leaves of the Ceratophylla group. 

Members of the group are H. adnata, H. brachyptera, H. obliqua, H. polyanthema and H. psilorrhyncha, all from southern WA.  


Hakea brachyptera approaches very closely in habit and fruit some of the specimens of H. polyanthema. In addition to its different distribution, it has smaller flowers and a small gland to distinguish it from H. polyanthema , as well as the fruit inserted at right angles to the stalk. In the open state the fruit valves remain joined along one side for much of their length, while in the fruit of H. polyanthema the valves separate almost fully down both sides.

Conservation status

In Western Australia denoted as Priority Three - Poorly Known: taxa which are known from several populations, at least some of which are not believed to be under immediate threat (i.e. not currently endangered). Such taxa are under consideration for declaration as ‘rare flora’, but are in need of further survey.

Atkins, K.J. (2008). Declared Rare and Priority Flora List for Western Australia , 26 February 2008. (Dept of Environment and Conservation. Como , W.A.).

Representative specimens

W.A.: Lake Magenta Rd, H.Demarz 10551 (PERTH); Nyabing to Pingrup, N.L.McKenzie 602 (PERTH); c. 25.5 km N of Ongerup, K.Newbey 1202 & 1202D (PERTH).


Link to FloraBase treatment of this species for WA.


Further illustrations

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 26-27 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 17 (2006)