Hooked Needlewood

Description

Common names

Hooked Needlewood, Striped Hakea, Needlewood.

Scientific names

Hakea tephrosperma.

Family

Proteaceae.

Genus

Hakea.

Name origin

Tephrosperma, from Greek tephro, ash grey and sperma, seed, referring to ash-coloured seed (not always apparent).

Rainfall

300mm.

Growth rate

Slow.

Growth height

3-12m.

Presence in Australia

Not widespread, but more common in west of region. Noted in the areas Brookong; Boree and Narrandera-Morundah-Galore-Collingullie.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, SA.

Habitat

Usually on coarse-textured soils, as individual trees or in dense thickets of shrubby plants.

Habit

Small tree or shrub 3-12m high. Often with drooping branches. Sparse crown of cylindrical leaves 2-9cm long.

Similar species

Distinguished from Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera) by curved points on its leaves, minutely hairy flower stems and dark-coloured seed wing.

Site preference

Very hardy. Tolerates moderate frost.

Flowering

Cream, spring. Attractive spider-like flowers.

Seed collection

Easily collected when seed available, generally winter-spring. Seeds retained on plants.

Propagation

Most Hakeas easily grown from fresh seeds which usually germinate in 3-6 weeks. Direct sow into pots (2 seeds per pot) or into field.

Regeneration

Mainly from root suckers, particularly when protected from grazing.

Timber

Deep-red with attractive "cartwheel" pattern. Turned to produce small ornaments.

Wildlife

Excellent cover for small native birds. Flowers are a food source for honeyeaters.

Ornamental

Attractive woody fruit, and beautiful flowers if mass-planted. Very hardy in cultivation.

Other

Nectar can be sucked from flowers or mixed with water for sweet drink.