Habit. Photo W.R.Barker

Base of trunk. Photo W.R.Barker

Inflorescence and leaves. Photo W.R.Barker

Inflorescence and leaves. Note the atypical pollen presenter development. Photo W.R.Barker

Fruit. Photo J.McAuliffe (ANBG)

Fruit. Photo J.McAuliffe (ANBG)

Open fruit and seed. Photo J.McAuliffe (ANBG)


Hakea pulvinifera L.A.S.Johnson, Contr. New South Wales Natl. Herb. 3: 93 (1962)

T: near Keepit Dam, N.S.W., 9 Oct. 1950, J.B.Heywood NSW54043; holo: NSW.


Diffuse shrub or small tree to 4 m high, often with 2 or more main branches from near base, suckering apparently from horizontal roots. Branchlets sparsely appressed-sericeous, glabrescent. Leaves compound, rarely simple, terete, 4–12 cm long, rusty or white appressed-pubescent, soon glabrescent; final segments 2–9, (0.3–) 1.5–5 (–7) cm long, (1–) 1.2–1.8 (–2) mm wide, widely spreading, ±rigid; mucro porrect, 1–2 mm long; undivided base (1.7–) 2–4.5 (–6.5) cm long.

Inflorescence axillary with 40–50 flowers; rachis 25–45 (–50) mm long, with sparse to moderately dense simple often gland-tipped hairs and usually appressed sericeous hairs as well, with similar but ±denser indumentum on pedicels and perianth. Flowers cream-white, mid-green on limb with purple flush; pedicels 8–10 mm long. Perianth recurved in mature bud, 9–12 mm long. Pistil c. 20 mm long; style recurved, cream-white; pollen presenter oblique, mid-green, malformed with thin cone and distorted flange.

Fruit apparently not formed but see the comments below concerning this.

Distribution and ecology

Known from only one population on a hillside near Tamworth, N.S.W.

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 Sept.–Nov.

Derivation of name

From pulviniferus, Latin for bearing a pulvinus. A pulvinus is a swelling. The species was named by Johmson for the "rhachis with prominently pulvinate points of insertion of the flowers". 



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, perianths are hairy 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.


Plants are reputed to be completely sterile and to never form fruit; the pollen is shrivelled and empty. The species reproduces only by suckering and is likely to be a single clone. Its relationships are obscure, although it does resemble H. divaricata. See W.R.Barker & S.P.Morrison, Hakea pulvinifera L.Johnson (Proteaceae): A rediscovered species under threat. J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 11: 175–177, 1989).

However note the formation of fruit and images of these (below) from cuttings from plants at the type locality growing at the Canberra Botanic Gardens. We are indebted to David Mallinson and Joe McAuliffe for sending these (Dec. 2005 & May 2006). An image of the immature fruit from this same source can be seen on the NSW Government Department of Environment & Conservation fact sheet for H. pulvinifera or through the Hakea page of the Australian Plant Images Index maintained by the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Conservation status

This species was treated as 'Endangered' in J.D.Briggs & J.H.Leigh, Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (1995).

See the current list of Hakea species gazetted in the Threatened Flora of  the Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Unlike the other species of Hakea listed in the EPBC Act, where only Conservation Advices have been prepared, an approved Recovery Plan was completed for Hakea pulvinifera by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service in April 2000. 

See the NSW Government Department of Environment & Conservation fact sheet for the Lake Keepit Hakea, prepared in 2005.   

Representative specimens

N.S.W.: Keepit State Forest Recreation Area, Little Klori Hill, W.R.Barker 5649 et al. (AD).


Link to PlantNET treatment for NSW.

See the NSW Government Department of Environment & Conservation fact sheet for the Lake Keepit Hakea, prepared in 2005. This fact sheet has an image showing some fruits and these fruits agree with some which have been produced in cultivation in the Canberra Botanic Gardens.  

Link to a report Investigating sterility in the clonal shrub Hakea pulvinifera: comparative studies of reproductive biology, floral development and genetic variation prepared by Jennifer Smith for the Australian Flora Foundation in April 2004.