Hakea purpurea

Distribution Map
Family: Proteaceae
Distribution: Open forest in south-east and central Queensland, extending across the border into New South Wales
Common Name: No generally accepted common name
Derivation of Name: Hakea...after Baron Christian Ludwig von Hake, a patron of botany.
purpurea....From latin purpureus, purple, referring to the colour of the flowers.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Hakea purpurea is an erect shrub from 1 to 3 metres in height. The leaves are terete (round in cross section) up to 75-100 mm long and usually divided into 2 to 4 narrow segments with a pungent tip. Flowers are seen in late winter and spring and occur in clusters from the leaf axils. The flower colour is reddish-purple to purple. The flowers are followed by woody seed pods about 40mm long by 15mm wide containing two winged seeds, the usual number for all Hakea species. The pods do not shed the seed until stimulated to do so by environmental conditions (eg after a bushfire).

Hakea purpurea
Hakea purpurea
Photo: Brian Walters

Hakea purpurea is one of the best of the eastern hakeas because of its low growth habit and colourful flowers. It is not widely grown but should become more popular as it has proven to be hardy in a range of well drained soils in sun or partial shade. It seems to be tolerant of moderate frosts. The flowers are attractive to honeyeating birds.

The species is easily grown from seed. Cuttings are also successful but need to be firm, current season's growth.

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