Entire leaves, young inflorescences and fruit; horns are visible on the fruit and buds are not straight. Photo W.R.Barker


Hakea oleifolia (Sm.) R.Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 185 (1810), non Banksia oleaefolia Salisb. 1796 (= H. dactyloides )

Conchium oleifolium Sm., in A.Rees, Cycl. 9 (1807) pages unnumbered. T: King George Sound, [Western Australia], 1803 [?1791], A.Menzies s.n.; syn: BM, LINN.

Hakea ligustrina Salisb., in J.Knight, Cult. Prot. 108 (1809). T: 'Shrub introduced by Lee & Kennedy from Port Jackson and exceedingly like Conchium oleaefolium of Dr Smith from King Georges Sound.'; holo: not located.


Small tree or shrub, sometimes dwarfed, 0.4–10 m tall. Branchlets and young leaves appressed-pubescent. Leaves flat, elliptic, 2.7–8.5 cm long, 5–25 mm wide, narrowly attenuate to cuneate, usually entire, rarely dentate with 1 (–4) teeth 1 mm long per side; mucro 0.5–1.5 mm long.

Inflorescence with 22–28 flowers; involucre 5–6.5 mm long; bracts densely tomentose, ferruginous; rachis 3.5–4 mm long, villous; pedicels 3–5 mm long. Perianth 2.5–3 mm long, white. Pistil 5–6.5 mm long; ovary glabrous; gland present.

Fruit obliquely ovate, 2–3 cm long, 1.3–2 cm wide, glabrous, pusticulate; horns to 6 mm long. Seed obliquely obovate, 11–16 mm long; wing partly down one side of seed body only.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in the Busselton to Bremer Bay area of south-western Western Australia; often in exposed coastal areas in low shrubbery or within Jarrah 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 Aug.–Oct.

Derivation of name

From Olea, genus of the olive and folia, Latin for leaf, a reference to a perceived resemblance of the leaves of this species to those of the olive.



Previously treated as Series Enerves of Sect. Conogynoides of Bentham. Sect. Conogynoides is characterised by a conical pollen presenter, veined leaves, glabrous perianth and fruits lacking horns. Series Enerves members lack an obvious venation in the leaves.


Because of the lack of leaf venation, but also because the fruits have very distinctive horns and the conical pollen presenter is somewhat obliquely placed, this group was removed from Sect. Conogynoides by Barker et al. (1999) and treated as the informal Varia group. Probably close to Bentham's Section Manglesiodes (the Lissocarpha group of Barker et al., 1999) but differing by the curved buds of the Varia group as opposed to the straight buds of the Lissocarpha group.


Members of the group are H. florida, H. horrida, H. ilicifolia, H. lasiocarpha, H. oleifolia, H. tuberculata and H. varia and the more recently described, H. chromatropa . All are from SW WA.


Differences between H. oleifolia and H. florida are not marked, and field studies may indicate that they are not specifically distinct.

Hakea florida usually has shorter and narrower toothed leaves, villous pubescence on the branchlets, flowers Nov.–Jan. and occurs within rocky gorges or gullies of higher and more inland areas. Hakea oleifolia usually has larger rarely toothed leaves, flowers Aug.–Oct., and appears to occur in coastal areas or within Jarrah forest. Groom & Lamont (1996) record both species as epicormic resprouters.

Representative specimens

Western Australia: L. Wombellup, 16 km NW of Mount Barker, W.A.Atkins B8 (PERTH); Cape Augusta, A.R.Fairall 800 (PERTH); Walpole-Nornalup National Park, Knoll Drive, S.Paust 356 (PERTH); Yallingup, R.D.Royce 3217 (PERTH).


Link to FloraBase treatment of this species for WA.


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 152-3 (2005)

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 82 (2006)