Leaves and inflorescences; note that some leaves are divided. Photo © W.R.Barker

Leaves and inflorescence; most leaves are not divided. Photo © I.Holliday

Leaves and inflorescences; buds at various stages. Note the straight buds and their pink apices and the structure of the inflorescence. Photo © W.R.Barker

Divided leaves and mature fruit; horns are visible on the apex of the fruit. Photo © W.R.Barker


Hakea drupacea (C.F.Gaertn.) Roem. & Schult., Syst. Veg. 3: 426 (1818)

Conchium drupaceum C.F.Gaertn., Suppl. Carp. 3: 217, t. 219 (1807). T: without locality, without date, J.Labillardiere s.n.; ?holo: TUB n.v.; ?iso: ?FI, G, G-DC (microfiche seen), ?TCD.

Hakea suaveolens R.Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 182 (1810). T: Bay II, Goose Island Bay, Middle Island, [Western Australia], 5 Jan. 1802, R.Brown s.n.; syn: BM, K p.p., E; South Coast, [Western Australia], without date, R.Brown s.n.; syn: BM, E, MEL 1537945; South Coast, [Western Australia], May 1803, R.Brown s.n.; syn: K p.p., ?MEL.

Hakea pectinata Dum.Cours., Bot. Cult. 2nd edn, 2: 424 (1811). T: not located.

Banksia pinnata Hort. Cels ex Roem. & Schult., Syst. Veg. 3: 444 (1818), nom. nud.; Hakea pinnata Hort. Cels ex Roem. & Schult., Syst. Veg. 3: 444 (1818), nom. nud.

Hakea lambertii Sweet, News Lit. Fashion 2: 346 (1825). T: 'Raised at the nursery of Mr Colvill, from seeds given by A.B.Lambert esq. who received them from King Georges Sound in New Zealand'; syn: B, BR, P p.p.

Banksia heterophylla Hort. ex Meisn., in A.L.P.P. de Candolle, Prodr. 14: 466 (1856), nom. nud.

[Hakea gibbosa auct. non (Sm.) Cav.: J.H.H. de Labillardière., Nov. Holl. Plant. 1: 31(1805)]


Dense spreading or erect shrub or tree, 1–4 m tall. Branchlets appressed-pubescent. Leaves simple- or compound-terete, 3–13 cm long, 1–1.6 mm wide, flexible, grooved above or not, glabrous or appressed-pubescent; ultimate segments 2–8.

Inflorescence axillary raceme with 46–84 flowers; involucre 4.5–12 mm long; rachis 17–26 mm long, appressed-pubescent, with hairs white or pale brown; pedicels 4–10 mm long. Perianth 3–4 mm long, pale pink ageing white. Pistil 3.5–4.5 mm long.

Fruit obliquely ovate, 2–2.5 cm long, 1.6–1.9 cm wide, black-pusticulate; apiculum to 1.5 mm long; horns 2–4 mm long. Seed ovate or elliptic, 16–20 mm long; wing partly down one side of seed body only.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs from Albany to Point Malcolm, east of Cape Arid National Park on the south coast of Western Australia and also on the islands of the Recherche Archipelago. Almost always associated with granite hillsides, more rarely quartzite areas or coastal limestone cliffs, in open heath or low shrubland or on Middle Island as a rare understorey plant in Eucalyptus platypus var heterophylla forest.

Naturalised in South Africa and Vic and commonly planted in South Australia, where it will almost certainly eventually become naturalised,  if it is not already.

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.

Derivation of name

From drupaceus, Latin for drupe-like. First published in a major work on fruits by Gaertner, this was one of the first Hakea species to described (as a Conchium species). It is somewhat surprising that the fruit should have been equated with a drupe, which is fleshy (as in a prune).


Previously treated as Sect. Manglesioidesof Bentham. Sect. Manglesioides is characterised by a conical pollen presenter, obscurely veined leaves, glabrous perianths which are straight in bud and fruits with distinct horns. Treated as the Lissocarpha group in Barker et al. and having the same species as in Bentham's section.


Probably closest to Bentham's Section Conogynoides Series Enerves (the Varia group of Barker et al., 1999), since they share a conical pollen presenter, leaves without obvious venation and fruits with horns, but differ by the curved buds of the Varia group as opposed to the straight buds of the Lissocarpha group. Neither of these informal groups is considered to be part of Sect. Conogynoides.  


Members of the group are  H. drupacea, H. lissocarpha, H. nitida  and H. oldfieldii, and all are found in SW Western Australia.  The first three of these also produce pink pollen, another characteristic which is unusual in Hakea.


The only other species outside this group to exhibit the characteristic of straight buds is another species from the south-west, H. newbeyana .



Young plants appeared after a fire in 1977 on Middle Is. (Weston 10756), and so it is likely that the species is not lignotuberous, a fact supported by literature from South Africa, where it is a troublesome weed. Groom & Lamont (1996) record it as an epicormic resprouter. Naturalised in Victoria after the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires and with the potential to do so in other States.

As with H. lissocarpha , this species produces pink pollen.

 Previously more commonly known as H. suaveolens. This name had to be replaced by the earlier H. drupacea because of the international rules governing the naming of plants.

Representative specimens

Western Australia: c. 58 km W of Port Malcolm, R.Hnatiuk 761182 (PERTH); E end of Wharton Beach, W of Duke of Orleans Bay, N.G.Marchant 80/56 (PERTH); 16 km SW of East Mount Barren, K.Newbey 2419 (PERTH); Observatory Is., A.S.Weston 9380 (PERTH).


Link to FloraBase treatment of this species for WA.


For further information and images of this species in the Esperance region of Western Australia see William Archer’s Hakea page in Esperance Wildflowers


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


As a weed


A Category 1 plant on the Declared Weeds & Invaders list for South Africa .


Background on Hakea drupacea as a weed in the fynbos vegetation ofSouth Africa.


Information on Hakea drupacea (as Hakea suaveolens) as a weed in the Northland region ofNew Zealand.

Further illustrations

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 70-1 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 38 (2006)