Hakea multilineata

Grass-Leaf Hakea

Family: Proteaceae

Hakea multilineata is known as the Grass-leaf Hakea and is a medium to tall, upright shrub, capble of reaching 6 metres, with a spread to several metres wide; without a lignotuber

It is another hakea that is endemic to the south-west region of Western Australia, growing as far north as Perenjori (north-east of Perth), southwards at a distance of about 100 km inland, to as far south as near Dumbleyung, east through Ravensthorpe-area and finishing north of Esperance near Salmon Gums, extending to just west of Kalgoorlie.

It grows on sands, in mallee-shrubland and heathland as well as dry sclerophyll woodland and forest.

Broadly linear leaves are altenate, thick, flat, up to 20 cm long, to about 2.5 cm wide, with many longitudinal veins (hence the species name); dull-mid-green in colour.

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 species, flowers are carried in large, spectacular umbel-like racemes, about 4 cm wide, of up to 120 flowers with racemes clustered in a continuous fashion along stems, bright reddish-pink in colour, with the flowering season extending from June to October.

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. In this species, perianths are about 6 mm long, red-pink with carpels about 22 mm long, also reddish-pink.

The woody follicles are ovate, to 3 cm long by about 2 cm wide, with a beak, usually in clusters of 1 to 5, containing the usual two winged-seeds.

In the garden

This is a very attractive plant and known to be cultivated. It is reported to grow well on the east coast. Grafted forms may cope better with high humidity.

It may be prone to damage by strong winds, so consider a sheltered location or staking in high wind areas. It has a very beautiful form in terms of foliage with very attractive flowers.

It is hardy on a well-drained soil in a sunny position.

Authors’s notes:

The peak flowering, in our cold climate garden (near Armidale), occurs in August.

Hakea multilineata could be used as a colourful addition to informal hedges and screens.

In our garden the Grass-leaf Hakea has proved to be hardy, free-flowering with very low water requirements once established.


Propagate from seeds and possibly cuttings.

Other information

Hakea is a genus of about 150 species of plants that are endemic to Australia, first described in 1788 by Joseph Gaertner, a German botanist. NSW currently has about 31 species, some which are species-complex.

Hakeas are similar to species of Grevillea but are distinguished from them in having persistent, woody fruits. Those of grevilleas are not persistent and not woody.

The fruit of Hakea spp. generally persist on plants until burned in a bushfire or until the plant dies. The fruit then splits open to release two winged seeds. This species does not have a lignotuber and likely regenerates from seed.

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).

multilineata – from Latin – multi meaning “many” and lineata meaning “lined” – referring to the numerous veins in the leaves.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.

Western Australian Herbarium. Florabase – the Western Australian Flora. Hakea multilineata profile page https://florabase.dbca.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/2184

Electronic Flora of South Australia – Hakea multilineata profile page http://www.flora.sa.gov.au/efsa/lucid/Hakea/key/Australian%20Hakea%20species/Media/Html/Hakea_multilineata.htm

Australian Native Plants Society Australia (ANPSA) – Hakea multilineata profile page https://anpsa.org.au/plant_profiles/hakea-multilineata/

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

By Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke