Photo I. Holliday

Photo I. Holliday

Photo   I.Holliday


Hakea grammatophylla (F.Muell.) F.Muell., Fragm. 6: 214 (1868)

Grevillea grammatophylla F.Muell., Fragm. 5: 25 (1865); H. multilineata var. grammatophylla (F.Muell.) Benth., Fl. Austral. 5: 518 (1870). T: 'Scrub near Forsters range', Central Mount Stuart, [N.T.], s.d. [1861/2], J.McD. Stuart s.n.; probable holo: MEL 1010236.


Erect shrub or small tree, 1–3.5 m tall, possibly resprouting. Branchlets densely, sometimes patchily, appressed-pubescent to ±glabrous at flowering. Leaves flat, linear, sometimes widened distally, falcate, 8–20 cm long, 5–11 mm wide, finely striated, acute, bluntly mucronate, moderately to sparsely appressed-pubescent; veins 5–9 between prominent marginal veins.

Inflorescence with 100–150 flowers; rachis 2–5 cm long, densely tomentose; pedicels glabrous. Perianth bright pink, glabrous. Pistil 13–16 mm long; gland ±flat, ±obtriangular, centrally depressed.

Fruit 1–15 on elongated rachis, stalked or subsessile, woody, ovate to ovate-oblong, 1.7–2.6 cm long, 0.8–1.3 cm wide, scarcely or not beaked, at first acuminate, enlarging and becoming more woody and obtuse, although still shortly apiculate with age, not keeled on ventral suture. Seed ovate-elliptic to ±elliptic-oblong, 11–16 mm long, 3.5–6 mm wide; wing extending partly down one side of body only, blackish brown.

Distribution and ecology

Confined to the Macdonnell Ra., N.T., extending from the George Gill Ra. in the west to the White Ra. in the east. Occurs in soil pockets on rocky ridges and upper slopes of steep hillsides and river gorges.

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 Mar.–Aug.

Derivation of name

From grammatus, Latin for striped with fine lines and phyllum, Latin for leaf, a reference to the fine striations on the leaves of this species.



Part of Sect. Conogynoides recognised by Bentham (1870) and characterised by a conical pollen presenter, veined leaves, glabrous perianth and fruits without horns.


Within this section 6 species were assigned to the informal Multilineata group by Barker et al. (1999). This group of Hakea species is usually referred to as the 'grass-leaf Hakeas' because they have long linear flat leaves with longitudinal striations. All but one species are floriferous and have red flowers and long pistils, suggesting bird pollination. Fruits are erect. H. minyma has much shorter pistils and cream flowers. 


Species in the group are H. bucculenta, H. francisiana, H. grammatophylla, H. minyma, H. maconochieana and H. multilineata. The monophyly or otherwise of the group has still to be tested.


Maconochie (Maconochie 1066) noted 'plants regenerating at base', presumably after fire or a disturbance, indicating that this species is probably lignotuberous. He also noted that in the desert environment the fruit appear to mature quickly, but then enlarge and increase in woodiness as they age.

This species is recognised as 'Rare' in J.D.Briggs & J.H.Leigh, Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (1995).

 Mueller described Grevillea grammatophylla, and cited the Stuart specimen from 'scrub near Forsters range' as type. When he subsequently transferred the species to Hakea he cited two further specimens (Gawler Ra., Sullivan, and Port Lincoln, Weidenbach). These latter specimens belong with H. francisiana .

Representative specimens

N.T.: 1 km N of Kings Canyon, P.K.Latz 8729 (CANB, DNA); Serpentine Gorge, Macdonnell Ra., J.R.Maconochie 1066 (DNA); Standley Chasm, Macdonnell Ra., A.E.Orchard 843 (AD, DNA).


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

Further illustrations

W.R.Elliot & D.L.Jones, Encycl. Austral. Pl. 5: 210 (1990)

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 92-3 (2005)