Plants of
South Australia
Hakea leucoptera ssp. leucoptera
Needle Hakea,
Silver Needlewood,
Needle Bush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Prior names

Hakea virgata

Hakea stricta

Hakea leucoptera var. kippistiana

Hakea kippistiana

Hakea florigera

Common names

Needle Hakea

Silver Needlewood

Needle Bush


Hakea, named after Baron Christian Ludwig von Hake (1745-1818), a German horticulturalist and patron of botany. Leucoptera, from the Greek 'leucos', meaning white and 'ptero', meaning wing, referring to the pale wing on the seed of this species.

Distribution and status

Found in central and northern South Australia, growing in a wide range of shrublands and woodlands on sandy to clay soil. Also found in all mainland States except Western Australia. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Small shrub or tree to 8 m high with hairy branchlets. Leaves terete, not grooved; to 100 mm long and 2 mm wide; white hairs, pungent tips. Inflorescence clusters with 18�45 white to yellow flowers. The two subspecies differ from each other only in the nature of the hairs of the inflorescence stalk (rachis), those of H. leucoptera ssp. leucoptera being white woolly-pubescent (raised), while those of H. leucoptera ssp. sericepes are shining white or brown and appressed (not raised). Flowering between October and December. Fruits are brown woody ovoid fruit to 32 mm long and 20 mm wide, with a broad pointed tip. Fruit splits into two to reveal two seeds. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and March. Collect mature woody fruit that are hard, brown and not split. These will contain seeds. Place the woody fruit in a tray and leave to dry until it split open. Place the dried fruit in a bucket and shake to dislodge the seeds from the valves. Separate the seeds from the fruit and store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily without pre-treatment.