Habit. Photo W.R.Barker

Inflorescences and leaves. Photo W.R.Barker

Inflorescence close-up. Photo W.R.Barker


Hakea chordophylla F.Muell., Hooker's J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 9: 23 (1857)

T: prope remotissimas partes fluminis Sturt's Creek, N.T., [1856/7], F.Mueller s.n.; holo: K p.p.

Hakea digyna Ewart & O.B.Davies, Fl. N. Terr. 85, t. 9 (1917). T: Newcastle Waters, N.T., 17 July 1911, G.F.Hill 471; syn: MEL, NSW.

Hakea longifolia A.Cunn. ex F.Muell., Fragm. 6: 190 (1868) nom. illeg. (H. cunninghamii in synonymy). T: terra Arnhemica usque sinum maris Nichol-Bay [W.A.], ?A.Cunningham; syn: ?MEL, ?K.

Illustration: W.R.Elliot & D.L.Jones, Encycl. Austral. Pl. 5: 194 (1990).


Shrub or small tree (1.5) 2–6 (–7.5) m high, apparently lignotuberous (resprouting from base). Branchlets often glaucous, sometimes glabrous, sometimes with sparsely to moderately dense simple glandular hairs, sometimes crisped, sometimes with appressed eglandular hairs only around leaf bases. Leaves terete, usually simple, (22–) 30–42 cm long, 1.6–2.9 mm diam., appressed eglandular-pubescent when very young; apex porrect.

Inflorescence with c. 35–70 flowers; rachis 70–130 mm long, glabrous and usually glaucous, or with sparse to dense simple erect glandular hairs; pedicels 5–10 (–12) mm long; indumentum similar to rachis. Perianth recurved in bud, 6–9 mm long, cream- or green-yellow to golden yellow; indumentum similar to rachis, or of sparse sericeous appressed hairs particularly on limb and dilated base. Pistil 21–29 mm long; style straight or curved; pollen presenter oblique.

Fruit (24–) 26–40 mm long, with long obscure to prominent beak 1/3–1/2 length of fruit; valves obliquely ovate, 13–20 mm wide; red-brown wood zone 1.5–3 mm wide, pale wood zone 4–7 (–8) mm wide. Seed occupying c. half valve, 23–35 mm long, 8–13 mm wide, wing 1/4–1/2 way down one side of seed body only.

Distribution and ecology

Widespread across subtropical Australia in W.A., N.T. and Qld, in sandy or loamy soil, sometimes stony laterite, in grassland, shrubland or woodland.

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 usually June–Sept., sporadically in other months.

Derivation of name

From chorde, Greek for cord, rope or string and phylla, Greek for leaf, presumably a reference to the long needle-like leaves of this species.



Part of the group referred to as the Corkwoods (Grevilleoides p.p. of Bentham, Lorea group of Barker et al. 1999) because the bark of these plants is usually corky. Pollen presenters are usually not conical (except in H. ednieana ), leaf venation is obscure, inflorescences are long and floriferous and mostly pendent and many fruits are formed. These fruits are not particularly woody, are usually obscurely horned, not usually retained for a long time on the plant and the seed occupies most of the valve face.


Members of this group include H. chordophylla, H. divaricata, H. ednieana, H. eyreana, H. fraseri, H. ivoryi, H. lorea, H. macrocarpa and H. pulvinifera . They tend to occur in drier areas of Australia.


This species is highly variable in indumentum, and it could be perceived as intergrading with H. lorea. However, where the species occur together in the Pilbara region of W.A., they flower at different times. In addition, the current season's branches in H. lorea are densely covered in 2-armed eglandular hairs, whereas those of H. chordophylla are sometimes glabrous, sometimes having at most a moderately dense patch of hairs around the leaf base.

A fragmentary duplicate from Nickol Bay, north-western W.A. was all that was seen by Mueller of Allan Cunningham's collection of H. chordophylla in publishing the manuscript name H. longifolia A.Cunn. ex F.Muell., nom. illeg. The major basis for Mueller's species was his own collection of H. lorea subsp. borealis from the Victoria R., N.T. (see under H. lorea).

Representative specimens

W.A.: Hamersley Range Natl Park, Yampire Gorge, G.W.Carr 4756 & A.C.Beauglehole 48534 (NSW). N.T.: near Bore 29, Wavehill Stn, R.A.Perry 2898 (AD, BRI, CANB, DNA, NSW). Qld: Oban Stn, c. 100 km SW of Mt Isa, S.L.Everist 3346 (BRI).


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

W.R.Elliot & D.L.Jones, Encycl. Austral. Pl. 5: 194 (1990).

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 22 (2006)