Hakea lorea (R.Br.)R.Br. subsp. borealis W.R.Barker, Fl. Australia 17B: 393 (1999).

T: 77 miles [123 km] N Wilton River-Bulmen Crossing, N.T., 15 June 1972, J.R.Maconochie 1463; holo: DNA; iso: K, NSW, PERTH.

Hakea longifolia A.Cunn. ex F.Muell., Fragm. 6: 190 (1868) nom. illeg. (H. cunninghamii in synonymy) p.p., only with respect to Victoria R. specimens. T: terra Arnhemica usque sinum maris Nichol-Bay, ?A.Cunningham; syn: ?MEL, ?K.


Tree to 10 m high or shrub 1–5 m high, lignotuberous. Branchlets and leaves densely appressed-pubescent; branchlet hairs ±persistent, ultimately glabrescent; leaves quickly glabrescent. Leaves terete, erect to pendulous, simple and (13–) 15–68 cm long and 1.4–2.1 mm wide.

Inflorescence with (3–) 15–200 flowers; rachis (20–) 50–250 mm long, densely appressed-pubescent, with indumentum similar on pedicels and perianth. Flowers white to yellow or greenish; pedicels (3–) 3.5–13 (–15) mm long. Perianth 8.5–11 mm long. Pistil 24–33 mm long; gland 2–4.3 mm long (in lateral view); stipe 2–5 mm long; style straight or curved; pollen presenter oblique.

Fruit 4–6  cm long, beaked for c. half length; valves obliquely ovate, 1.8–2.8 cm wide; red-brown wood zone 3–6 mm wide; pale wood zone 7–10 mm wide. Seed occupying c. half valve, 2.2–3.8 cm long, (0.7–) 0.8–1.7 cm wide; wing c. halfway down one side only.

Distribution and ecology

Confined to the Kimberley region of W.A. and the northern part of N.T., growing in open woodland or open forest.

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 Feb.–Mar., May–Sept., Nov.

Derivation of name

From borealis, Latin for northern, a reference to the more northerly distribution of this subspecies compared with ssp. lorea.


How the infraspecific taxa differ

Ssp. lorea represents the southern distribution of this species (S of c. 17 degrees latitude) across Australia while ssp. borealis occurs north of here in the Kimberley region of WA and in northern NT. The fruits and flowers of ssp. borealis are larger than those of ssp. lorea but there is some overlap in all of the characters.

ssp. lorea

ssp. borealis

Fruit length, cm



Fruit: valve width, cm



Fruit: red-brown wood zone width, mm



Fruit: pale wood zone width, mm



Perianth length (mature bud), mm




Part of the group referred to as the Corkwoods (Grevilleoides p.p. of Bentham, Lorea group of Barker et al. 1999) because the bark of these plants is usually corky. Pollen presenters are usually not conical (except in H. ednieana ), leaf venation is obscure, inflorescences are long and floriferous and mostly pendent and many fruits are formed. These fruits are not particularly woody, are usually obscurely horned, not usually retained for a long time on the plant and the seed occupies most of the valve face.


Members of this group include H. chordophylla, H. divaricata, H. ednieana, H. eyreana, H. fraseri, H. ivoryi, H. lorea, H. macrocarpa and H. pulvinifera . They tend to occur in drier areas of Australia.


Formerly combined by S.T.Blake with the north-western W.A. (Pilbara region) populations under the name H. cunninghamii, but differing in the much larger fruit. North Qld plants approach this subspecies sometimes in the wide red-brown wood zone, but differ in the generally smaller fruit.

 The type material of H. longifolia A. Cunn. ex F.Muell. is a mixture of material of H. lorea subsp. borealis, (a good collection of Mueller's from the main camp of the Gregory Expedition on the Victoria R.), and a poor Cunningham specimen of H. chordophylla (q.v.).

Representative specimens

W.A.: 0.8 km SW of Mt House Stn, J.R.Maconochie 1206 (DNA, NSW); 5.2 km from Gibb River Rd on road to Mt House, D.J.McGillivray 3827 & A.S.George (CANB, K, MEL, NSW, PERTH, US). N.T.: No. 12 Government Bore, 2 km off Buchanan Hwy, R.M.Barker 202 (AD); Nutwood Downs Stn, P.K.Latz 7417 (CANB, DNA).


Link to FloraBase treatment of this species for WA.


Further illustrations

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 66 (2006)