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Plant of the Month
June 2023


Hakea conchifolia Hook.


Hakea conchifolia (Shell-leaved Hakea) is a compact lignotuberous shrub growing to 1 m high, with white to sometimes pale pink flowers from June to August. The unique blue-green leaves are shell-shaped, prickly, and fold along the leaf axis.

Joseph Hooker described Hakea conchifolia in 1842, deriving the name from the Latin words concha (shell) and folius (leaf). Shell-leaved Hakea belongs to the Cucullata Group, which comprises three species: H. cucullata, H. conchifolia, and H. smilacifolia, the last two similar in appearance and sometimes confused. Both species have distinctive shell shaped leaves. However, H. conchifolia differs from H. smilacifolia in being lignotuberous and much more floriferous with 15–18 flowers per racemes, whereas H. smilacifolia is non-lignotuberous and has 5–8 flowers per raceme.

Shell-leaved Hakea occurs in a variety of heathland habitats between Perth to Dongara and as far inland as Eneabba.

Photo: R. Davis

Find out more about Hakea conchifolia Hook.