A small, ground-hugging shrub growing to 1.5 metres tall by up to 3 metres wide with a sprawling habit.
This cultivar is a hybrid between Hakea petiolaris and H. myrtoides, two Western Australian species, and originated in the 1980s at Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum.
Leaves are stiff and to 4 cm long by 1 cm wide, elliptic to ovate to obovate, blue-green with a sharp mucro at the tip, and somewhat crowded along the stems.
A hakea inflorescence is technically a cluster of paired flowers, termed a conflorescence (although sometimes the paired flowers are not evident) with the overall structure forming a clustered-raceme-like appearance. The inflorescences are always produced in the leaf axils, as opposed to the closely related Grevillea where they are mostly terminal. They can appear as a spider-flower-like cluster, or a rounded ball where flowers emerge around a 360° radius, or as a cylindrical raceme (which strongly resemble those of grevillea).
In this cultivar, the inflorescences occur as semi-circular to globular cluster (from 180 – 360°) in the leaf axils, with up to 50 flowers per cluster, to 20 mm long by 40 mm across, vivid pink and white in colour and are produced en masse in winter to spring.
Individual flowers are composed of 1 carpel (female part) where the style and stigma protrude out; 4 stamens hidden away in the perianth; and the perianth (petals and sepals collectively) which connects to a pedicel. Proteaceae flowers do not have any discernible petals or sepals (having only one whorl) and so these are referred to as ‘tepals’ of which there are 4. The carpels are to 20 mm long, white-cream in colour. The perianths are pink to deep pink. The overall affect is that of a pin-cushion.
Fruit is rarely produced.
This is a spectacular cultivar and is very popular. Its prolific flowering in winter combined with its sprawling habit adds to its appeal. It can be kept pruned low to form more of a ground-dwelling shrub or allowed to grow up to 1 metre or more tall with a wide spread. It does not like high or moderate humidity. So choose a place with good air flow, on a well-drained soil for best results. Grows in full to dappled sun. Can tolerate dry conditions once established. Prune lightly to shape after flowering.
Excellent bird habitat and insect attractor.
Must be propagated from cuttings to maintain its characteristics.
Hakea is a genus of about 150 species of plants that are endemic to Australia. Was first described in 1788 by Joseph Gaertner, a German botanist.
Hakea – named after Baron Christian Ludwig von Hake (Baron von Hake of Hanover, 1745-1818), an 18th-century German patron of botany (and for whom not a lot of information can be found).
‘Burrendong Beauty’ – named for Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum where the hybrid originated, located on Lake Burrendong at Mumbil, NSW.