Natural populations

Hakea microcarpa is a spreading shrub to 2 m tall which grows from the granite belt area around Stanthorpe, Queensland, in New South Wales and Victoria, to Tasmania. It occurs in sub-alpine bogs, alongside streams and is poorly drained areas of woodland, mostly at higher altitudes [16, 42].  There is some discussion in the variation in the wall thickness of the fruits, either being thin or thicker walled [16, 42], although this is not formally recognised [121]. The plant has terete leaves, although some can exhibit flattened juvenile leaves [16, 42].

Flowering and seeds

Hakea micocarpa flowers in spring and early summer and fruits in summer.Woody fruits open quickly following maturity on plant in 3-14 days [120]; no pre-treatment required for germination; germinates in 3-6 weeks [88].

Cultivation and uses

A habitat and nectar source for birds and insects; it is useful in plantings to control drainage [88].

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 500-2650 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 5-16 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 14-30 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: -4-13 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C) or severe or heavy (greater than -5°C)
Altitude: 50-1650 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be drought sensitive(?)
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range or tolerates heavy frosts colder than -5°C
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam or loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5)
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm)
Drainage: seasonally waterlogged
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity(?)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: drainage may be sluggish at times(?)
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen shrub less than 2 m tall or shrub or small tree less than 5 m tall
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Root system: shallow and spreading
Wildlife value: flowers are especially attractive to birds


[16] Walsh NG, Entwisle TJ (1994 - 1999) Flora ofVictoria. Volume 2 - 4, Inkata Press, Melbourne.

[42] Flora of Australia (1982 to 2007) Volumes 2 to 47, CSIRO Publishing and the Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra.

[88] Understorey Network Plant Database (2006) (Online resource) (Accessed: February 2008)

[120] Charles Sturt University (2007) Charles Sturt University Virtual Herbarium. (Online resource) (Accessed: February 2008).

[121] CHAH (2005) Australian Plant Census. Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria. (Online resource) (Accessed: February 2008).

Internet links

Flora of Australia Online:

PlantNet NSW Flora Online – species description & distribution:

Charles Sturt University Plant Database:

Tasmanian Understorey Network:

Australian Journal of Botany: