Deep red flowers from Narrogin area. Photo K.Shepherd

Deep red flowers from Narrogin area. Nectary is also deep red. Photo K.Shepherd

Deep red flowers from Narrogin area. Photo K.Shepherd

Deep red flowers from Narrogin area. Nectary is pale in colour. Photo K.Shepherd

Photo I.Holliday

Photo I.Holliday


 Hakea pritzelii Diels, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 35: 163 (1904)

T: Cranbrook, Western Australia, Sept. 1901, E.Pritzel 691; syn: B, BM, K, L, M, MO, NSW, PERTH, W; Cranbrook, Western Australia, 24 Sept. 1901, L.Diels 4401; syn: B, ?PERTH; western foot, Stirling Ra., Western Australia, without date, L.Diels 2996; syn: B; south-western Western Australia, without date, J.Drummond 3: 278; ?syn: K, MEL, PERTH, W; south-western Western Australia, J.Drummond 43; ?syn: NSW.

An image of theLeiden type specimen of Pritzel 691 can be seen on the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland site.


Spreading erect shrub, 1–2.5 m tall. Branchlets villous or glabrous. Leaves obovate throughout, 1.7–4 cm long, 10–20 mm wide, cordate or auriculate (auricles toothed or entire), entire or denticulate with 1–7 teeth per side, sparsely appressed-pubescent or glabrous, glaucous.

Inflorescence in upper axils, with (4–) 10–12 flowers; involucre 2.5–3 mm long; rachis 2–4.5 mm long, glabrous or villous, glaucous; pedicels 3.5–6.5 mm long, glaucous. Perianth 3–4 mm long, deep red-purple. Pistil 8–11 mm long.

Fruit obliquely ovate, 2 cm long, smooth with scattered truncate prickles, glabrous. Seed c. 17 mm long; wing partly down one side of seed body only.

Distribution and ecology

A rare species, found in the Stirling Ra. of Western Australia (and perhaps further south) in Banksia heath in sand or sandy clay, sometimes over laterite. Specimens from the Narrogin area, from the Yillminning and Dongollocking Reserves, also appear to conform well with this species.

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 July–Oct.

Derivation of name

Named for Ernst G. Pritzel (1875-1946), botanist, who accompanied F.L.E.(Ludwig) Diels on a collecting expedition to the southern hemisphere between 1900 and 1902. They collected in south-west WA between October 1900 and December 1901, making prolific collections and publishing a milestone paper on the vegetation of the region

Diels, L & Pritzel, E. (1904-5). Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae Occidentalis. Bot. Jahrb. 35: 55-662. W. Engelmann (Leipzig).



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 Prostrata group all share the characteristics of flat leaves with toothed margins, glabrous pedicel and perianth, oblique pollen presenter and non-woody, spiny, obscurely-horned, camouflaged fruits which are not retained for any length of time on the bushes.

Members of the group are H. amplexicaulis, H. auriculata, H. denticulata, H. prostrata, H. pritzelii and H. spathulata, all from SW WA.


Maintained at species level because of its smaller flower size, although there appears to be no other character, except perhaps leaf size, to separate it from the red-flowered form of H. prostrata with which it overlaps in distribution. Preiss 538 and Preiss 542 from the Darling Ra., treated as H. prostrata, may also belong here. Field studies are required to clarify whether there are two or more distinct taxa.

Whether the Ivan Holliday photographs shown are truly of H. pritzelii cannot be determined since there is no voucher. They may represent one of the red-flowering forms of H. prostrata although these are not usually red throughout as shown here. From dried type material the flowers of H. pritzelii seem to be a deeper red-purple in colour than the red shown here.

Likewise a series of collections by Kelly Shepherd (PERTH) from the Dongollocking and Yilliminning Reserves near Narrogin may represent this taxon. All of these collections have smaller leaves (less than 3 cm long) and all have flowers about 4 mm long; some of them (see attached images) also have the deeper red-purple coloration associated with the type collection. 

Thanks to Kelly Shepherd and her associates of the Western Australian Herbarium for additional collections and photographs of the complex.

Conservation status

This species is recognised as 'Poorly Known' in J.D.Briggs & J.H.Leigh, Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (1995).

Representative specimens

W.A.: 45 km E of Cranbrook, B.Lamont s.n. (PERTH); Toll Ck, Stirling Ra., A.Morrison s.n. (E, PERTH); just S of Stirling Ra., c. 20 km NNE of Mount Barker, P.Wilson 3327 (AD); Yillminning Reserve 50 m NW from the road, 7.8 km NE on Boundain Road N from Yillminning Road, E of Narrogin, K.Shepherd 1115 (AD,PERTH).


Link to FloraBase treatment of this species for WA.


Further illustrations

J.Young, Hakeas of W. Australia, Botanical District of Avon 86 (1997).

J.A..Young, Hakeas of Western Australia. A Field and Identification Guide 94 (2006)