20 February 2009

Pincushion Hakea - Hakea laurina

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Hakea laurina - Pincushion Hakea

Probably due to its broad non-prickly leaves and winter flowering/bird attracting 5 cm (2") diameter brightly colored ball shaped flowers, makes the Pincushion Hakea one of the most popular hakeas in Australian home gardens. It is a very hardy species, naturally growing in (moist) alkaline or acid sands over limestone or (in the wheatbelt) granite outcrops, or very commonly in mallee winter wet hollows. 

The growth structure is highly variable from a bushy shrub of 2-3 metres (6'-10') in windswept environments, to a tree of 6 metres (20') in more sheltered ones. It can have an upright growth habit or spectacularly weep to the ground, although most forms have a bit of both.

Around Esperance it would be more common a little inland and can often be seen in the hollows on gravel roadside verges throughout the wheatbelt, but quickly peters out as you travel into the drier uncleared mallee region. The flowering period is usually between April and August, invariably putting on an impressive floral display.

Update May 2013
Four photographs added.