Habit and habitat, near Jerramungup, WA. Photo I.Holliday

Habit, cultivated plant. Photo I. Holliday

Leaves and inflorescences at different stages; note the straight buds. Photo W.R.Barker

Inflorescences and leaves; note the straight buds. Photo W.R.Barker

Inflorescences at various stages; note the pink pedicels in this form. Photo W.R.Barker

Leaves and young buds, bracts still present. Photo W.R.Barker

Leaves and young fruits; horns are visible on the fruits. Photo W.R.Barker

Young fruits closer; the conical pollen presenter and horns are visible. Hairs visible on the young fruits are lost with maturity. Photo W.R.Barker


Hakea lissocarpha R.Br., Suppl. Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl. 27 (1830)

T: Swan R., towards source, [Western Australia], 1827, C.Fraser 16; syn: BM p.p., K (without number); without locality, without date, Anon. (?Fraser) 27; ?syn: BM p.p. (on same sheet as Fraser 16 and matching Fraser type at K).

Hakea bipinnatifida R.Br., Suppl. Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl. 28 (1830). T: occident u meridion, Nov. Holl., [Western Australia], received 1826, Anon. (ex Herb. Mus. Paris) s.n.; holo: BM (according to the protologue the collector was Baudin).

Hakea intricata R.Br., Suppl. Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl. 27 (1830). T: between Cape Arid and Lucky Bay, [Western Australia], without date (1829 in the protologue, but the specimen is labelled by Brown as having been received on Jan. 7th, 1825), W.Baxter s.n.; ?holo: BM.

?Mercklinia rosea Regel, Index Sem. Hortus Bot. Petrop. 25 (1856). T: not located.

?Mercklinia petrophiloides Regel, Index Sem. Hortus Bot. Petrop. 25 (1856). T: not located.


Dense shrub, erect or spreading, 0.25–3 m tall. Branchlets glabrous, villous or appressed-pubescent. Leaves rigid, compound-terete, 0.9–4 cm long, grooved above or not; ultimate segments up to 14, 0.4–1.3 mm wide.

Inflorescence axillary or terminal on short shoots with 20–30 flowers; involucre 3–6 mm long; rachis 2.5–7 mm long, tomentose, with hairs white or cream-yellow; pedicels 3–9 mm long. Perianth 2.5–4 mm long, white, pale yellow or pink. Pistil 3–4 mm long.

Fruit obliquely ovate, 1.5–2.5 cm long, 0.7–1.4 cm wide, smooth, black-pusticulate, obscurely apiculate; horns 2–3 mm long. Seed ovate, 9–20 mm long; wing narrowly down one or both sides or encircling seed-body.

Distribution and ecology

A common species in south-western Western Australia, from Kalbarri (possibly as far north as Hamelin) to Israelite Bay. It is usually associated with laterite, often within Eucalyptus wandoo forest, but has also been recorded from granite, sand and clay and from mallee heaths.

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 lisso-, Greek for smooth and carpho, Greek for scale, and presumably a reference to the involucral bracts, which are usually smooth.



 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 .


A variable species with respect to pubescence on the leaves and the rachis and also with respect to leaf width and flower colour. The type of H. bipinnatifida falls within that group of specimens from coastal localities with very narrow leaves grooved on the upper surface. At least some forms of the species are apparently lignotuberous (Hnatiuk 760533), but particularly the smaller bushes, often with pink flowers, of the Esperance district (Bernie Norris pers. comm.).

Pollination biology studies of this species could prove to be rewarding. The red apices of some pollen presenters and the production of pink pollen seen in cultivated specimens at Wittunga Botanic Garden, Adelaide, need further investigation.

Representative specimens

Western Australia: 24 km E of Jurien, J.S.Beard 7863 (NSW, PERTH); between Moora and Watheroo, W.E.Blackall 2556 (PERTH); 3.5 km E of Mt Peron, E.A.Griffin 2753 (PERTH); Mt Short, c. 15 km E of Ravensthorpe, G.J.Keighery 6065 (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.

Further illustrations

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 112-13 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 63 (2006)