Needlewood

Description

Common names

Needlewood, Needle Hakea, Silver Needlewood, Silver Needle Bush, Pin Bush, Booldoobah, Kuloa, Kulua, Kuluva, Needle Bush, Uri, Water Tree.

Scientific names

Hakea leucoptera, Hakea leucocephala.

Family

Proteaceae.

Genus

Hakea.

Name origin

Leucoptera, from Greek leucos, white and pteron, wing, referring to ashy-white seed wings (although they may be brownish-grey). Common name refers to leaves which have very sharp points.

Rainfall

250mm.

Growth rate

Slow.

Growth height

Up to 5m.

Presence in Australia

Noted south-west of the Olympic Highway, in the areas Simmons Creek-North west Culcairn; Burrumbuttock-West Hume; Long Plain-West Hume and Urana-Rand-Corowa.

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

Habitat

Coarse-textured soils. Individual trees or dense thickets of shrubby plants.

Habit

Small tree to about 5m high or bushy shrub to about 2m high. Open-branched crown, straight, rigid branches and rigid cylindrical leaves 2-9cm long.

Similar species

Distinguish from Hooked Needlewood (H. tephrosperma) by its silvery leaves with straight points and glabrous flowers.

Site preference

Tolerates relatively heavy soil and partial shade. Hardy and moderately frost tolerant.

Characteristics

Long-lived.

Flowering

Creamy white, late spring-summer. Sometimes profuse.

Seed collection

Throughout year, as seeds generally retained.

Propagation

From fresh seed (±300 viable seeds per gram) which generally germinate in 3-6 weeks. Suitable for direct seeding into pots (2 seeds per pot) or into field.

Regeneration

Root suckers.

Fuel

Easily split.

Timber

Timber reddish-brown, close-grained, hard and tough, with small oak-like appearance. Used in small turnery work, and takes good polish. Smoking pipes were made from roots.

Wildlife

Good habitat. Flowers are a nectar source for native birds and insects. Foliage good nesting sites for small birds.

Koori

Roots a source of water. Roots dug up and one end placed in slow fire, forcing water out other end.

Ornamental

Ornamental. Decorative woody fruit. Plant in full sun. Adaptable in cultivation.

Other

Light producer of fair quality honey.