Hakea (pin-cushion tree) is a genus of 149 species of shrubs and small trees in the Proteaceae, native to Australia and surrounding islands. They are found throughout the country, with the highest species diversity being found in the south west of Western Australia.
|Hakea laurina (pin-cushion hakea)|
Schrad. & J.C.Wendl.
They can reach 1–6 m in height, and have spirally arranged leaves 2–20 cm long, simple or compound, sometimes (e.g. H. suaveolens) with the leaflets thin cylindrical and rush-like. The flowers are produced in dense flowerheads of variable shape, globose to cylindrical, 3–10 cm long, with numerous small red, yellow, pink, purple, pale blue, or white flowers.
Hakeas are closely related to the genus Grevillea and Finschia, both members of the subfamily Grevilleoideae within the family Proteaceae. Many species have similar inflorescences, but hakeas can be distinguished by their woody seed pods.
Hakeas are popular ornamental plants in gardens in Australia, and in many locations are as common as grevilleas and banksias. Several hybrids and cultivars have been developed. They are best grown in beds of light soil which are watered but still well drained.
Some showy western species, such as Hakea multilineata, H. francisiana and H. bucculenta, require grafting onto hardy stock such as Hakea salicifolia for growing in more humid climates, as they are sensitive to dieback.
Many species, particularly eastern Australian species, are notable for their hardiness, to the point they have become weedy. Hakea gibbosa, H. sericea, and H. drupacea (previously H. suaveolens) have been weeds in South Africa, Hakea laurina has become naturalized in the eastern states of Australia and is considered an environmental weed, and Hakea salicifolia, Hakea gibbosa, and Hakea sericea are invasive weeds in New Zealand.
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- Von Hake (*1745-1818*) was a Hanoverian official, among others serving as President of the Royal British and Electoral Brunswick-Lunenburgian Privy Council for the Duchies of Bremen and Verden in the years of 1800–1810.
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- Holliday Ivan (2005). Hakeas:a field and garden guide. Reed New Holland. ISBN 1-877069-14-0.
- Young, JA (2006). Hakeas of Western Australia : a field and identification guide. ISBN 978-0-9585778-2-3.