Hakea laurina, the Pincushion Hakea, is a tall shrub that may reach a height of six metres.
Plants in our cold climate garden have reached a height of three metres in about eight years.
Leaves are leathery, narrow-elliptical in shape and up to 15 centimetres long. Leaf venation is prominent. Dense, globular flower heads appear in late autumn and early winter. The colourful blooms are red with protruding white styles.
The blooms are followed by grey, egg-shaped fruits that contain two winged seeds (see thumbnail).
This Western Australian native is probably the best known Hakea and is widely cultivated in both gardens and as a street tree in many parts of Australia. Dubbo, a city in central NSW, uses the Pincushion Hakea as a street tree.
Honeyeaters are attracted to the flowers.
Propagate from seed and possibly cuttings.
The type specimen was collected, in what is now Cape Arid National Park, in 1824. This coastal national park is situated in southern Western Australia and east of Esperance.
The species was first grown in Europe in 1830 and is now cultivated in the French Riviera and the USA.
Many western hakeas have blooms as colourful as this species but unfortunately are not well known in general cultivation.