Photo W.R.Barker

Photo W.R.Barker

Two fruit types in H. nodosa. Photo W.R.Barker


Hakea nodosa R.Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 179 (1810)

T: Port Phillip Bay, [Vic.], 1 May 1802, R.Brown s.n.; lecto: BM, fide W.R.Barker, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 17: 201 (1996); isolecto: E, K, P.

Hakea flexilis R.Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 180 (1810). T: Arthur's Seat, Port Phillip, [Vic.], 24–25 Jan. 1804, R.Brown Iter. Austral. 3375; lecto: BM, fide W.R.Barker, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 17: 201 (1996); isolecto: BM, E, K.

Hakea semiplana F.Muell. ex Meisn., Linnaea 26: 359 (1854). T: Brighton, Australia felix, [Vic.], Oct. 1852, F.Mueller; lecto: NY, fide W.R.Barker, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 17: 201 (1996); remaining syntypes: Gippsland, Vic., 1853, Anon. s.n.; syn: NY; interior of New Holland, Anon. [Major Mitchell's Exped.] s.n.; syn: NY.

Hakea semiplana F.Muell., First Gen. Report 17 (1853), nom. nud.


Spreading, upright or rounded shrub, 2 (–4) m high, ?lignotuberous or not. Branchlets ribbed, soon or tardily glabrescent. Leaves terete to flattened, flexible, 0.8–5 cm long, 0.7–2.5 mm wide, glabrous, sometimes grooved below; mucro c. 0.2–0.9 mm long.

Inflorescence with 2–11 flowers; rachis simple, 0.5–1 mm long, rarely up to 6 rachises developing on previous year's rachis, densely pubescent with appressed brown and/or white raised hairs. Flowers cream-white to deep yellow; pedicels 1.5–3.3 mm long, white-pubescent. Perianth 1.3–2.2 mm long, glabrous. Pistil 3–4.5 mm long; gland curved-rectangular.

Fruit dimorphic, remaining closed if woody, opening if less woody, broadly ovate, 1.3–3.5 cm long, 0.9–3 cm wide, densely coarsely warty or almost smooth; beak short, oblique and broad, or sometimes narrow, decurrent down red-brown wood zone side only; horns absent. Seed marginal, obliquely elliptic, 12–23 mm long, 5.5–11 mm wide; wing decurrent broadly 2/3 to whole way down one side only, dark-grey to grey-yellow.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in south-eastern S.A., Vic. and Tas., in closed heath and in swampy areas.

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–Aug.

Derivation of name

From nodosus, Latin for knobby or knotted, a reference to the surface of the fruit.



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.

The Nodosa group consists of only 3 species, H. nodosa, H. propinqua and H. pachyphylla . Close to the Sericea group and sharing the simple needle leaves, few-flowered inflorescences, hairy pedicels and woody tuberculate fruits but differing in their very small flowers in which the pistil is only 3-4.5 mm long. H. nodosa does sometimes produce flattened, rather than terete, leaves and can also produce non-woody fruits as well as the distinctive woody fruits. All 3 species occur in the eastern states of Australia.


The woody fruit is sharply coarsely tuberculate when young, the tubercles a contrasting lighter colour.

Unique within Hakea for producing two fruit types often on the same plant. One type is similar to that found in the H. recurva group (not developing any marked woodiness, opening while still attached to the bush and with a smooth surface), the other is woody, remaining closed while attached to the bush and with a rough tuberculate surface. The smooth-surfaced fruit was the basis for Robert Brown's H. flexilis, which he described at the same time as H. nodosa.

Representative specimens

S.A.: c. 60 km N of Kingston, B.Copley 3317 (AD, DNA); W Dairy Ra., 2.5 km ESE of 'Sugarloaf Hill', 22 km E of Robe, M.D.Crisp 3817 (AD, CANB). Vic.: Coranderrk Aquaduct road, S of Healesville, 3 Apr. 1979, D.Parkes & P.Gullan s.n. (MEL); Corinella West, J.D.M.Pearson 626 (MEL). Tas.: Swampy Bay, A.Moscal 2650 (AD, MEL).


Link to SA eFlora treatment.


Link to the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) pages on Hakea. This species is covered here with an image, cultivation notes and brief notes about it.


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


Images of H. nodosa in Tasmania can be seen in the North East Bioregional Network pages and in Victoria in the Yarra Ranges Shire Council plant directory.

Further illustrations

J.W.Wrigley & M.Fagg, Banksias, Waratahs & Grevilleas 385 (1989).

I. Holliday, Hakeas. A Field and Garden Guide 144-5 (2005)