Note divided leaves protecting inflorescence. Photo   I.Holliday

Note leaf channelled on upper surface and yellow pollen. Photo  W.R.Barker


Hakea horrida C.A.Gardner ex R.M.Barker, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 13: 102 (1990)

T: 32 km E of Lake King township, Western Australia, 16 Sept. 1964, P.Wilson 3249; holo: AD; iso: B, L, PERTH, UC n.v.

Hakea sp. nov. aff. lissocarpha, in J.W.Wrigley & M.Fagg, Banksias, Waratahs & Grevilleas 412 (1988)


Spreading or dense rigid shrub, 0.6–2 m tall, 0.7–2 m diam., non-lignotuberous. Branchlets appressed-pubescent, red. Leaves rigid, 4–10 cm long, pinnatisect, grooved basally above, appressed-pubescent, quickly glabrescent; segments 5–14, 1–2.5 mm wide; mucro 2–3.5 mm long.

Inflorescence with 18–22 flowers; involucre 6.5–8 mm long; bracts densely woolly-tomentose, with white hairs on lower bracts, ferruginous hairs on upper bracts; rachis 2.5–4 mm long, villous; pedicels 3–6 mm long. Perianth 2–4 mm long, white to yellow. Pistil 5.5–8 mm long; ovary ?glandular-pubescent; gland absent.

Fruit obliquely ovate, 1.5–2 cm long, 1–1.5 cm wide, black-pusticulate, pubescent; horns 3.5–4.5 mm long. Seed obliquely obovate, 9–13 mm long; wing broadly down one side, narrowly down other or encircling seed body.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in drier areas of south-western Western Australia from north-east of Kondinin to Frank Hann National Park and south to near Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe. Recorded from gravel loam, sand, sandy loam with lateritic gravel or pebbles, in scrub, closed heath, open Eucalyptus eremophila mallee or Casuarina acutivalvis shrubland.

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 Aug.–Oct.

Derivation of name

From horridus, Latin for dreadful, a reference to the difficulty in handling this species because of its exceedingly prickly leaves.



Previously treated as Series Enerves of Sect. Conogynoides of Bentham. Sect. Conogynoides is characterised by a conical pollen presenter, veined leaves, glabrous perianth and fruits lacking horns. Series Enerves members lack an obvious venation in the leaves.


Because of the lack of leaf venation, but also because the fruits have very distinctive horns and the conical pollen presenter is somewhat obliquely placed, this group was removed from Sect. Conogynoides by Barker et al. (1999) and treated as the informal Varia group. Probably close to Bentham's Section Manglesiodes (the Lissocarpha group of Barker et al., 1999) but differing by the curved buds of the Varia group as opposed to the straight buds of the Lissocarpha group.


Members of the group are H. florida, H. horrida, H. ilicifolia, H. lasiocarpha, H. oleifolia, H. tuberculata and H. varia and the more recently described, H. chromatropa . All are from SW WA.


The gland was not found on any herbarium sheets, but cultivated H. horrida at Wittunga was found to have a small white upright gland present in most flowers. Some of the flowers from Wittunga had pale pink pollen presenters.

Hakea horrida may grade into H. ilicifolia (see below) and might, therefore, be better treated as a subspecies.

Representative specimens

Western Australia: Frank Hann National Park, D.Monk 296 (PERTH); 16 km E of Ongerup, K.Newbey 390 (PERTH); 2 km NW of 90 Mile Tank, Norseman to Lake King road, K.Newbey 6490 (PERTH); 10 km S of Lake Grace, R.D.Royce 6682 (PERTH); 16 km W of Lake King township, P.G.Wilson 5758 (PERTH).


Link to FloraBase treatment of this species for WA.


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

Further illustrations

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 94-5 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 51 (2006)