Single-stemmed shrub with leaves, flowers and fruits (Lithgow area, Haegi 3537). Photo L.Haegi

Leaves and young fruits (Berowra Waters area, Haegi 3533). Photo L.Haegi


Hakea dactyloides (Gaertn.) Cav., Anales Hist. Nat. 1: 215, t. 12 (1800)

Banksia dactyloides Gaertn., Fruct. Sem. Pl. 1: 221, t. 47, fig. 2 (1788); Conchium dactyloides (Gaertn.) Vent., Jard. Malmaison 2: t. 110 (1805). T: New Holland, [N.S.W.], 1770, J.Banks & D.Solander s.n.; holo: t. 47, loc. cit.

Banksia oleaefolia Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton 54 (1796). T: ex Port Jackson [N.S.W.], auct. Jac. Lee; holo: not located.

Conchium nervosum Donn, Hortus Cantabrig. 2nd edn, 14 (1800), nom. nud.; Hortus Cantabrig. 3rd edn, 21 (1804), nom. nud.; Conchium nervosum Donn ex Sm., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 9: 123 (1808), pro syn.; Hakea nervosa (Donn ex Sm.) Knight, Cult. Prot. 108 (1809), nom. illeg. (Banksia dactyloides in synonymy).

Hakea dactyloides?, R.Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 186 (1810); H. dactyloides? latifolia Meisn., in A.L.P.P. de Candolle, Prodr. 14: 415 (1856), nom. inval. (incl. type of Banksia dactyloides).

Hakea dactyloides R.Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 187 (1810); H. dactyloides angustifolia Meisn., in A.L.P.P. de Candolle, Prodr. 14: 415 (1856). T: not located.

Hakea incrassans Gand., Bull. Bot. Soc. France 66: 230 (1919). T: Port Jackson, N.S.W., Nov. 1902, N.Michael s.n.; holo: LY.

Hakea leucopoda Gand., Bull. Bot. Soc. France 66: 230 (1919). T: N.S.W., 1902, C.Walker s.n.; holo: LY.

[Hakea ferruginea auct. non Sweet: C.Loddiges, Bot. Cab. t. 1501 (1829); J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 5: 149 (1912)]


Erect single-stemmed bushy shrub or small tree, 2.4–4.5 m tall, non-sprouting. Branchlets glabrescent or sparsely pale (rarely dark) appressed-pubescent at flowering. Leaves narrowly elliptic to almost linear, rarely narrowly obovate, sometimes falcate, 3.9–13 cm long, 5–14.5 mm wide, narrowly cuneate at base, entire, acute to acuminate; longitudinal veins 3 above and below, usually more prominent below; secondary veins reticulate, conspicuous or obscure.

Inflorescence solitary with 20–38 flowers; pedicels appressed-pubescent with white and (rarely) ferruginous hairs. Perianth cream-white. Pistil 4–6.5 mm long; gland present.

Fruit obliquely elliptic, slightly curved, 2.5–3.5 cm long, 1.7–2.3 cm wide, not beaked, apiculate. Seed obliquely obovate to obliquely elliptic, 18–23 mm long; wing extending down adaxial side of body only, notched.

Distribution and ecology

Widespread in the Central and South Coast and Tablelands of N.S.W., extending to the Central Western Slopes and north-eastern Vic.; usually grows on sandstone in sclerophyll forest, on slopes, ridges and along watercourses, frequently in deeper soil.

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 Oct.–Nov.

Derivation of name

The ending -oides indicates a resemblance, in this case to dactylos, Greek for finger, presumably a reference to the leaves of this species.



Part of the Conogynoides group recognised by Bentham and characterised by a conical pollen presenter, veined leaves, glabrous perianth and fruits without horns.


Within this section 12 species were assigned to the informal Undulata group by Barker et al. (1999). This group of Hakea species was combined morphologically because they all have simple flat leaves with 3-7 prominent longitudinal veins, 10-40 small flowers (with 3-10.5 mm long pistils) and decurved woody fruits.

Members of the group are H. ambigua, H. anadenia, H. dactyloides, H. elliptica, H. falcata, H. ferruginea, H. hastata, H. laevipes, H. loranthifolia , H. neurophylla, H. plurinervia and H. undulata , from the eastern states and from SW WA. The newly described H. oligoneura (Nuytsia 19: 254 (2009) from the SW coast of WA belongs with this group.


An attempt was made in the Flora of Australia account to clarify what is known as the 'H. dactyloides species complex'. Several morphological variants have been informally recognised for some time, in particular resprouting and non-sprouting forms. This feature, supported by others such as branchlet indumentum and flowering time, provide the basis for recognition of a distinct taxon at species level (see H. laevipes below), but for many specimens for which these features are not evident or are unrecorded, assignment to the taxa recognised remains difficult.

Further collecting of flowering material and field observation is expected to improve resolution of the complex.

Representative specimens

N.S.W.: Lees Pinch, M.D.Crisp 2277 & I.R.Telford (AD, CANB, PERTH); near Carrington Falls on Robertson–Jamberoo road, M.Evans 2673 (AD, CANB, K, MEL, NSW); 1.8 km from Berowra Water ferry crossing along Arcadia–Galston road, L.Haegi 3533 (AD, BRI, MEL, NSW); 0.8 km WSW of Zig Zag Rly turnoff on Bell–Lithgow road, L.Haegi 3540 (AD, BRI, MEL, NSW). Vic.: Mt Kay, E Gippsland, N.A.Wakefield 3224 (MEL).


Link to PlantNET treatment.

Link to the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) pages on Hakea. This species, or possibly H. laevipes, is covered here with an image, cultivation notes and brief notes about it.

More photographs of this species can be seen on the Australian National Botanic Gardens site.

Link to Maiden’s Forest Flora of New South Wales vol. 5, pl. 179 for Maidens's description and Margaret Flockton's illustration of this species. H. laevipes will also be included within this concept of H. dactyloides

Further illustrations

J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 5: no. 175, pl. 179A–K (1912).

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 62-3 (2005)