Habit and habitat. Photo  A.S.George ( George 17743).

Flowering branches. Photo  A.S.George ( George 17743).

Inflorescences. Photo  A.S.George (George 17743).

Fruits and leaves. Photo  A.S.George (George 17743).

Fruits and young branches. Photo  A.S.George (George 17743).


Hakea chromatropa A.S. George & R.M. Barker, Nuytsia 17: 159-163 (2007).

T: W of Wongan Hills, Western Australia, 21 August 2006, A.S. George 17742; holo: PERTH 07418086; iso: AD, CANB, K.

Hakea ilicifolia auct. non R. Br., Barker et al., Fl. Australia 17B: 119 (1999) p.p., only with respect to H. Demarz 1338 from Bolgart.

Hakea serrata R.M. Barker & A.S. George ms (Western Australian Herbarium 1998–)


Bushy shrub to 2.5 m tall and 2 m wide, without lignotuber. Bark finely fissured. Branchlets tomentose with short, basally forked hairs and scattered longer simple hairs. Leaves rigid, obovate, 18–55 mm long, 8–20 mm wide (including teeth), markedly concave and recurved towards apex, pungently acute, serrate with 1–5 teeth on each margin (occasionally entire), appressed-tomentose with bifurcate hairs, glabrescent; lower leaves to 80 mm long with shorter teeth.


Inflorescence axillary, almost sessile; rachis 3–4 mm long, villous with white hairs; 1 or 2 vegetative shoots arising from peduncle at flowering time with mainly white hairs and few rusty hairs. Bracts ovate, very concave, appressed-hirsute, the outermost 1.5 mm long, grading to the innermost that are narrowed towards base and c. 9 mm long, caducous. Flowers c. 20–26, glabrous, not scented. Pedicels 4–7 mm long. Perianth 4–4.5 mm long, creamy white turning deep pink with age; limb recurved in bud, broadly elliptic, 1.1–1.2 mm long. Pistil 6–7 mm long; pollen presenter conical, 0.6–0.7 mm long, the apex glandular, base widely flared, very finely fringed; ovary sessile, papillose; gland absent.


Fruit almost sessile, broadly ovoid, somewhat gibbous on lower side, 20–24 mm long, 10–13 mm wide, with scattered pustules or ridges, splitting fully to base; horns stout, turned upwards, 3–4 mm long. Seed along upper side of follicle, obliquely obovate, 14–16 mm long, 4–5 mm wide; seed body 6–8 mm long, very convex and rugose on inner face; wing extending down one side almost to base of seed body.


From the protologue in Nuytsia 17: 159-163 (2007).

Distribution and ecology

Recorded from four localities in the Avon Wheatbelt in the South-west Botanical Province of Western Australia.

Found in gravelly loam, in open shrubland, with scattered mallee eucalypts, or in Eucalyptus wandoo open 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

July to early October.

Derivation of name

From the Greek chroma (colour) and trope (a turning), in reference to the flowers that change colour as they age.



Previously treated as Series Enerves of Sect. Conogynoides of Bentham. Sect. Conogynoides is characterised by a conical pollen presenter, veined leaves, glabrous perianth and fruits lacking horns. Series Enerves members lack an obvious venation in the leaves.


Because of the lack of leaf venation, but also because the fruits have very distinctive horns and the conical pollen presenter is somewhat obliquely placed, this group was removed from Sect. Conogynoides by Barker et al. (1999) and treated as the informal Varia group. Probably close to Bentham's Section Manglesiodes (the Lissocarpha group of Barker et al., 1999) but differing by the curved buds of the Varia group as opposed to the straight buds of the Lissocarpha group.


Members of the group are H. florida, H. horrida, H. ilicifolia, H. lasiocarpha, H. oleifolia, H. tuberculata and H. varia and the more recently described, H. chromatropa. All are from SW WA.


Hakea chromatropa is closely related to H. ilicifolia R. Br., a more southerly occurring species from along and near the south coast ofWestern Australia between Albany and Lucky Bay (east of Esperance) and inland to Lake Grace. It differs from H. ilicifolia by its non-lignotuberous habit (lignotuberous or suckering with a corymbose habit in H. ilicifolia ), wider floral bracts, slightly larger flowers and seeds, and flowers that change colour as they age. The hairs on the rachis and the young shoots that arise from the inflorescence at flowering are predominantly white, whereas in H. ilicifolia they are mostly rust-coloured.

The distinctive leaf shape of this species is shared by specimens recorded by Barker et al. (1999) as having characteristics intermediate between H. ilicifolia and H. horrida R.M. Barker, e.g. H. Demarz 482 from the Fitzgerald River, W.E. Blackall 3089 from between Pingrup and Lake Magenta, and A.S. George 10932 from the Fitzgerald River National Park (all at PERTH).

Conservation status

Under Western Australian legislation this is a Priority One Rare Flora taxon.

Priority One - Poorly Known: taxa which are known from one or a few (generally <5) populations which are under threat, either due to small population size, or being on lands under immediate threat, e.g. road verges, urban areas, farmland, active mineral leases, etc., or the plants are under threat, e.g. from disease, grazing by feral animals, etc. May include taxa with threatened populations on protected lands. Such taxa are under consideration for declaration as ‘rare flora’, but are in urgent 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.: N of Bolgart, 2 July 1969, H. Demarz 1338 (KPBG); type locality, 2 Oct. 2006, A.S. George 17743 (PERTH); SSE of Mogumber, 14 Nov. 1990, E.A. Griffin 6143 (PERTH).


An account and map of H. chromatropa can be found on FloraBase


Further illustrations

A line drawing by Lisa Waters (AD) accompanies the original description of the species in Nuytsia 17: 159-163 (2007).