Habit. Photo  W.R.Barker

Habit - small tree.  Photo  I. Holliday

Tree trunk, leaves and inflorescences. Photo  I. Holliday

Inflorescence. Photo  W.R.Barker

Young fruits. Photo  W.R.Barker

Mature fruits still on inflorescence. Photo  W.R.Barker

Mature fruits opening on tree. Photo  I. Holliday


Hakea lorea (R.Br.) R.Br., Suppl. Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl. 25 (1830)  subsp. lorea

Grevillea lorea R.Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 177 (1810). T: Shoalwater Bay, [Qld], 3 Sept. 1802, R.Brown Iter Austral. 3385; syn: BM, E, K, MEL, NSW, P.

Hakea cunninghamii R.Br., Suppl. Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl. 26 (1830). T: Bay of Rest, [W.A.], 16 Feb. 1818, A.Cunningham 108; syn: B, BM, K.

Hakea suberea S.Moore, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 34: 223 (1899). T: Black Gin soak, between Goongarrie and Mt Margaret, northwards to... some high granite rocks fourteen miles north of Lake Darlot, S.Moore s.n.; syn: not located; Elder Expedition [R.Helms]; syn: K (not found); near Barrow Range, 17 Aug. 1891, R.Helms s.n.; isosyn: ?AD 96236037, MEL 643560 p.p.; near Camp 33 near Barrow Ranges, 4 Aug. 1891, R.Helms s.n.; isosyn: MEL 643557; near Everard Ranges, 29 May 1891, R.Helms s.n.; ?isosyn: MEL 643561; near Everard Ranges, 30 May 1891, R.Helms s.n.; ?isosyn: AD 96236037 p.p., ?AD 96236036 p.p., K.

Hakea lorea var. mollis Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 591 (1921). T: collibus apricis ap. opp. Cloncurry, II [Feb.] 1910, K.Domin 2903; syn: PR; K.Domin 2904, as for Domin 2903; syn: PR.

[Hakea fraseri auct. non R.Br.: S.T.Blake, Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 73: 71 (1963), excl. type]


Tree to 10 m high or shrub 1–5 m high, lignotuberous. Branchlets and leaves densely appressed-pubescent to woolly-tomentose, sometimes with simple glandular hairs as well, rarely these alone; branchlet hairs ±persistent, ultimately glabrescent; leaves quickly glabrescent. Leaves terete, erect to pendulous, either simple and (13–) 15–68 cm long and 0.9–2.3 mm wide, or compound and (13–) 14–35 cm long, with undivided base 4–18 cm long and 2–6 narrowly spreading segments 0.5–13 (–20) cm long, 1–2.4 mm wide.

Inflorescence with (3–) 15–200 flowers; rachis (20–) 50–250 mm long, densely pubescent, with indumentum similar on pedicels and perianth. Flowers white to yellow or greenish; pedicels (3–) 3.5–13 (–15) mm long. Perianth 5–11 (–12) mm long. Pistil 15–28 mm long; gland 1.5–2.8 mm long (in lateral view); stipe 0.5–3.5 mm long; style straight or curved; pollen presenter oblique.

Fruit 2.5–4.2 (–4.4) cm long, beaked for c. half length; valves obliquely ovate, (0.9–) 1.4–2.4  cm wide; red-brown wood zone 1–5 mm wide; pale wood zone 4–10 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

Widespread over the north-eastern and central arid and subtropical parts of Australia, from the Pilbara region in W.A. to the eastern uplands of Qld from southern Cape York Peninsula to the plains of Maranoa and Darling Downs regions, south to far north-western S.A.

Occurs in sandy to clay or duplex soil, on sandstone, granite, basalt, laterite schist or alluvium, on plains or in ranges, in open, usually Eucalyptus dominated, mixed forest or woodland, sometimes over shrubs, with grass understorey, rarely in dunes.

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.–Sept.

Derivation of name

From lorum, Latin for strap, presumable a reference to the long narrow leaves.


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.


Previously considered to comprise four species, H. lorea, H. suberea, H. cunninghamii and H. fraseri in the sense of S.T.Blake (1963), but the characters of seed position in the valve, indumentum, pedicel length and torus orientation break down in the much additional material collected since then.

A polymorphic species varying in direction of hair arms, division of leaves and floral and fruit dimensions. S.T.Blake's 1963 classification of usually long and simple-leaved corkwood species (Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 73: 61–77), in which he distinguished as separate species H. fraseri (partially misapplied to south-eastern Qld plants), H. lorea, H. cunninghamii (encompassing northern Australian and Pilbara, W.A. populations) and H. suberea within the circumscription of this species, is untenable. A new classification is adopted returning to the concept of a single species, H. lorea, encompassing tomentose corkwoods with simple or sparingly divided, very long, leaves, and with the subspecific taxa redefined in circumscription.

Specimens from the Canning Stock Route in north-eastern arid W.A. are notable for their shrub rather than tree habit.

Forms with glabrous branchlets and inflorescences occur on the Blackwater Tableland area of eastern Qld. There is no evidence that they form a separate taxon or a narrow-leaved extension of range of H. chordophylla , as they occur with typical H. lorea subsp. lorea in the region and differ in no other attributes.

Representative specimens

W.A.: c. 30 km E of NW Coastal H[igh]way on road to Gascoyne Junction, A.M.Ashby 3889 (AD, PERTH). N.T.: c. 100 km W of Harts Range Police Station, J.R.Maconochie 386 (AD, DNA, NSW). S.A.: Carpamoongana Waterhole, Hamilton Stn, F.J.Badman 246 (AD). Qld: Daunia HS, 67 km WSW of Nebo township, Story & Yapp 129 (BRI, CANB).


Link to PlantNET treatment for NSW. 


Link to FloraBase treatment of this species for WA.


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


Link to Maiden’s Forest Flora of New South Wales vol. 5, pl. 183 for an account and image of this species.


Further illustrations

J.H.Maiden, Forest Fl. New South Wales 5: no. 179, pl. 183 (1912), as H. lorea;

J.W.Wrigley & M.Fagg, Banksias, Waratahs & Grevilleas 384 (1989), as H. fraseri and H. lorea.

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 114-15 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 67 (2006)