Habit. Photo © Ivan Holliday.

Foliage, flowers and fruits. Photo © W.R.Barker

Foliage and flowers. Photo © W.R.Barker

Foliage, flowers and mature fruit. Photo © W.R.Barker


Hakea macraeana F.Muell., Australas. J. Pharm. 1: 430 (1886)

T: sources of the Clyde [R.], N.S.W., 4000 ft [1219 m], Oct. 1886, W.Bäuerlen s.n.; lecto: MEL, fide W.R.Barker, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 17: 206 (1996); isolecto: BM, K; remaining syntypes: Monga, near Braidwood, N.S.W., Sept. 1886, W.Bäuerlen s.n.; syn: NSW; near Mt Currockbilly, N.S.W., Oct. 1886, W.Bäuerlen s.n.; syn: MEL; Braidwood district, N.S.W., Sept. 1884, W.Bäuerlen 206; syn: MEL; Braidwood district, N.S.W., Feb. 1885, W.Bäuerlen 206; syn: MEL; Braidwood, 1885, George McCrae s.n.; syn: MEL.


Small tree or erect or spreading shrub, 1–7.5 m tall, resprouting capacity unknown. Branchlets appressed-pubescent, quickly glabrescent or persistent. Leaves narrowly divergent, terete, grooved below, (3–) 5.5–15 cm long, 0.7–1.2 mm wide, densely cream appressed-sericeous, covered by more quickly caducous ferruginous hairs; apex porrect or rarely uncinate, with mucro 1.4–2.7 mm long.

Inflorescence axillary umbel of 1–6 flowers; rachis obscure, simple, 0.8–1.5 mm long, densely tomentose with white and/or ferruginous hairs; pedicels 3.2–6.8 mm long, usually appressed-sericeous, with hairs usually white. Perianth 3–5.2 mm long, white or cream-white, sparsely appressed-sericeous with white shining hairs. Pistil c. 7–10 mm long.

Fruit elliptic to obovate, 2.8–4 cm long, 1.8–2.4 cm wide, pale-pusticulate on brown-black bark; beak small, ±smooth; horns 1–3 mm long, fragile. Seed 2.2–2.7 mm long; wing extending 1/2–3/4 way down one side only, blackish brown.

Distribution and ecology

Confined to the south coast and southern tablelands of N.S.W., found in understorey of wet or dry sclerophyll forest in skeletal soil on rocky ground from near sea-level to 1060 m.

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

Named after George McCrae who first collected the species at Braidwood, NSW, and sent it to Mueller in 1885.

George McCrae was possibly the NSW Government Architect from 1912-1923.  If so he arrived in Australia in 1884.



Part of Section Hakea of Bentham (as Euhakea) and characterised by a non-conical pollen presenter, leaves without obvious venation, perianths with or without hairs and fruits with or without horns. Barker et al. (1999) recognised a number of informal morphological groups within the section.

H. macraeana was treated as part of the Sericea group, a predominantly eastern states group characterised by their simple terete leaves, few-flowered inflorescences, hairy pedicels and solitary, prominently woody fruits, these often markedly verrucose or pusticulate and usually with horns.

Other members of the group are H. actites, H. constablei, H. decurrens, H. gibbosa, H. kippistiana, H. leucoptera, H. lissosperma, H. macrorrhyncha, H. ochroptera, H. sericea and H. tephrosperma, predominantly from the eastern states of Australia.  


A collection from c. 21 km WNW of Nerrigundah (M.P.Austin 138) differs from H. macraeana in the leaves usually lacking a groove along the lower side. More collections from the area, with flowers and fruit, are needed to establish its taxonomic significance.

Conservation status

Included on the November 2008 Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 –Threatened List.

Representative specimens

N.S.W.: Egan Peaks Nature Reserve, unnamed spur on the W side of Jingera Rock, D.Albrecht 853 (MEL, NSW); Bumbo Fire Trail, Dampier State Forest, 16 km c. NW of Bodalla, E.F.Constable 4431 (MEL, NSW); Budawang Ra., N of Currockbilly Mtn, 24 km c. NE of Braidwood, E.F.Constable 7454 (MEL, NSW); track to Mt Imlay, c. 20 km SW of Eden, R.Coveny 5794 & J.Armstrong (DNA, MEL, NSW).


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. 6, pl. 194 for an account and image of this species


Further illustrations

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 116-17 (2005)