Hakea decurrens R.Br. subsp. platytaenia W.R.Barker, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 17: 196 (1996)

T: Ben Boyd Natl Park, South Coast Region, N.S.W., 23 July 1990, M.Parris 9714; holo: AD; iso: AD, CANB, others to be distributed.


Small shrubby tree or erect shrub, 0.3–2 m tall. Branchlets moderately to densely tomentose, rarely appressed-sericeous, persistent at least until well after flowering. Leaves widely spreading, grooved below to varying extents, 1.5–8 cm long, 0.7–1.6 mm wide, sparsely tomentose with some hairs appressed, quickly glabrescent; apex porrect, with mucro 1–3.5 mm long.

Inflorescence axillary umbel of 1–6 white to pink flowers; rachis simple, 0.5–2.8 mm long, with tomentose or appressed white and/or ferruginous hairs, extending onto pedicels; pedicels 1.2–4.8 mm long. Perianth 4.2–7.2 mm long, glabrous. Pistil 8.5–12.2 mm long.

Fruit 2.6–3.5 cm long, 2.6–3.5 cm wide, finely or coarsely tuberculate, obliquely ovate to broadly ovate; beak small to moderately large, sparsely pustulate or smooth; horns 1–5 mm long; valves with pale wood extending c. 3/4 way to style base, pale wood zone 8–15 mm wide; red-brown wood zone 3–5 mm wide. Seed 17–23 mm long, 6.5–10.5 mm wide; wing 3/4 to fully down one side only, dark blackish brown with hyaline network of minute areoles.

Distribution and ecology

Coastal, occurring in south-eastern N.S.W., eastern Vic., and Bass Strait islands, in windswept heath.

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 May–Sept.

Derivation of name

From platys, Greek for broad and taenia, Greek for ribbon, a reference to the broader red-brown layer in the fruiting valve when compared to the other two subspecies.


How the infraspecific taxa differ

The subspecies primarily differ in their fruit and branchlet hair characters as shown below. Enright & Goldblum (1999) indicate that ssp. physocarpa (see note under that subspecies) is not lignotuberous in the Grampians but the species was generally described as lignotuberous by W.R.Barker in the Flora of Australia treatment. Further observations are required across the range of the species to clarify this characteristic to clarify this characteristic in relation to each of the subspecies.

Branchlet hairs

Fruit width, cm

Fruit: red-brown layer width, mm

Fruit: pale wood width, mm


ssp. decurrens

appressed, soon lost




W slopes and plains of Great Dividing Range, NSW

ssp. platytaenia

raised, persistent




Coastal windswept heaths, NSW, VIC and Bass St islands

ssp. physocarpa

appressed, soon lost




Non-coastal se NSW, Vic, Bass St; widely naturalised –SA, Tas, NSW, Portugal


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.

H. decurrens was treated as part of the Sericea group, a predominantly eastern states group characterised by their simple terete leaves, few-flowered inflorescences, hairy pedicels and solitary, prominently woody fruits, these often markedly verrucose or pusticulate and usually with horns.

Other members of the group are H. actites, H. constablei, H. gibbosa, H. kippistiana, H. leucoptera, H. lissosperma, H. macraeana, H. macrorrhyncha, H. ochroptera, H. sericea and H. tephrosperma, predominantly from the eastern states of Australia.  

Representative specimens

N.S.W.: c. 0.3 km W by track from Saltwater Creek camping ground, S of Eden, D.E.Albrecht 410 (AD, MEL); Quoraburagam Point, J.Pully 479 (CANB). Vic.: Howe Hill, s.d., Anon. (F.Mueller herb.) 132 (MEL); Oberons Foot, Wilsons Promontory, 10 June 1965, P.K.Smith (MEL). Tas.: Flinders Is., summit of Mt Tanner, B.S.Crisp 459 (CANB, HO).


Link to PlantNET treatment for NSW.

Further illustrations

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 64-65 (2005)