Photo  I.Holliday

Photo  I.Holliday

Photo  W.R.Barker

Photo  W.R.Barker

Photo  W.R.Barker

Photo  W.R.Barker


Hakea gibbosa (Sm.) Cav., Anales Hist. Nat. 1: 214 (1800)

Banksia gibbosa Sm., in J.White, J. Voy. New South Wales 224, t. 22, fig. 2 (1790); Conchium gibbosum Donn, Hortus Cantabrig. 3rd edn, 21 (1804), nom. inval.; Conchium gibbosum (Sm.) Donn ex Sm., in A.Rees, Cycl. 9, no. 1 (1807), pages unnumbered; Banksia pinifolia Salisb., Prod. Stirp. Chap. Allerton 51 (1796), nom. illeg. (B. gibbosa in synonymy); Hakea pinifolia Knight, Cult. Prot. 107 (1809), nom. illeg. T: t. 22, fig. 2 in J.White, J. Voy. New South Wales 224, (1790); lecto: fide W.R.Barker, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 17: 207 (1996).

Conchium sphaeroideum Sm., in A.Rees, Cycl. 9, no. 2 (1807), pages unnumbered. T: Port Jackson, N.S.W., Anon.; holo: not located.

Conchium cornutum C.F.Gaertn., Suppl. Carp. 216, t. 219 (1807). T: Port Jackson, [N.S.W.], 1770, [J.Banks & J.Solander]; syn: B.

Hakea tamminensis C.A.Gardner, J. Roy. Soc. W. Australia 47: 57 (1964). T: near Tammin, W.A., s.d., C.A.Gardner 11997; holo: PERTH.

Hakea lanigera Ten., Fl. Napol. 1: 22, t. vi (1811). T: 'Questo bell'albero e coltivato da molti anni al Real Giardino di Caserta, d'onde e passato en quello delle piante'; holo: not located.

?Hakea pubescens Schrad. & J.C.Wendl., Sert. Hannov. 27 (1798). T: not cited.


Shrub, 0.9–3 m tall, not lignotuberous. Branchlets persistently densely brown-villous. Leaves narrowly divergent to widely spreading, usually grooved below, 2.5–8.5 cm long, 0.9–1.5 mm wide, densely villous, with hairs usually persistent until flowering; apex porrect, with mucro (1–) 1.8–2.3 mm long.

Inflorescence axillary umbel of (1–) 2–4 flowers; rachis simple, 0.7–1.6 mm long, obscured by densely villous indumentum of persistent pale brown or ferruginous hairs much longer than rachis; pedicels 1.8–4.5 mm long, densely villous with white to ferruginous hairs. Perianth 3.8–5.3 mm long, cream-yellow, sparsely to moderately tomentose with some hairs appressed, or sparsely to moderately villous; hairs white to pale brown. Pistil 8.7–11.5 mm long.

Fruit 2.6–4.5 cm long, 2–3 cm wide, often compressed when immature, coarsely rugose-reticulate and (in immature fruit) pusticulate; beak small, decurrent down one side, finely or coarsely black-pusticulate or tessellated; horns fragile, c. 0.3 mm long. Seed 20–33 mm long, 9–14 mm wide; wing almost fully decurrent down one side of seed-body only, with seed body flanged on the other side, dark-brown.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs near the central coast and adjacent ranges of N.S.W.; naturalised on Norfolk Is., N.S.W., in New Zealand and South Africa. Grows in dry sclerophyll forest, in heath on Hawkesbury sandstone or in sandy soil on ridges, most common in windswept scrub on coastal cliffs.

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 Apr.–July.

Derivation of name

From gibbosus, Latin for protuberant, presumably either a reference to the pustules on the immature fruit or perhaps to the rounded "cheeks" forming the base of the fruit.  



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. gibbosa 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. decurrens, H. kippistiana, H. leucoptera, H. lissosperma, H. macraeana, H. macrorrhyncha, H. ochroptera, H. sericea and H. tephrosperma, predominantly from the eastern states of Australia.  


The species is unique within the Sericea Group in having its seed oriented transversely to the direction of the fruit stalk.

Compressed fruit with under-developed pale wood occur among the fully developed sclerotinous fruit. Whether these release viable seeds seasonally, as apparent in H. nodosa , needs confirmation.

Hakea tamminensis, a rare species from near Tammin, W.A., sought by many fanciers for 20 years, was shown by W.R.Barker (Nuytsia 7: 1–3, 1989) to be a case of mistaken identity of a mislabelled specimen of H. gibbosa.

Representative specimens

N.S.W.: Pacific Hwy, 8 km E of Kariong, R.Coveny 4879 (DNA, NSW).


Link to PlantNET treatment for NSW.


Link to the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) pages on Hakea. This species 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.

As a weed species

A Category 1 plant on the Declared Weeds & Invaders list forSouth Africa

Background on Hakea gibbosa as a weed in the fynbos vegetation of  South Africa.

A fact sheet on Hakea gibbosa as a weed in theBay of Plenty region of New Zealand.

Further illustrations

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 88-9 (2005)