Hakea laurina

Location:  In garden behind 7th green

Distribution: South west of Western Australia
Height:  5 metres

This upright evergreen shrub or small tree is native to the sand plains of the south west of Western Australia. It is most common between Albany and Esperance, and may grow to 5 metres. The long leaves resemble those of the Laurel tree, and the foliage is dense, and usually pendulous. The flowers are cherry red and projecting long cream styles. The fruit is ovoid and smooth. The plant may be propagated from seed and it is used in Australia, and overseas, as an ornamental shrub, as a hedge or as a wind break. Hakea laurina adapts well to different soil types and is frost tolerant. It grows best in well-drained soil in full sunlight and is a bird attractant.

Hakea laurina has an unusual flower where the straight white styles project to give the appearance of a pincushion. In the very next group of plants, the Grevilleas, the brilliantly coloured styles form delicate arches. Contrast this again to the Banksias, or to the Grass trees, or to the Macrozamias. Plant morphology is amazingly variable. Compare all these flowers to the rose, where the brilliant colours reside in the petals.

The basic features of a flower are shown in the following diagram.

“Life on earth is inconceivable without trees.” (Anton Pavlovich Chekhov)