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Hakea tephrosperma facts for kids

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Hakea tephrosperma
Hakea tephrosperma.jpg
Scientific classification

Hakea tephrosperma commonly known as hooked needlewood, is a shrub or small tree species in the family Proteaceae. One of the taller species and adaptable for dry to temperate locations.


Hakea tephrosperma is a large upright multi-stemmed shrub or small tree growing to 8 m (26 ft) high and forms a lignotuber. Smaller branches are rusty coloured with flat silky hairs or may be densely covered with short white woolly soft matted hairs. Needle-shaped leaves are smooth 3–8 cm (1–3 in) long and 1–1.8 mm (0.04–0.07 in) wide and ending in a small curved hook 0.8–2 mm (0.03–0.08 in) long. The inflorescence has a short red-brown stalk 1–3 mm (0.039–0.12 in) long, covered in fine soft hairs. The inflorescence consists of 6-22 flowers, each individual flower has a stalk 3.5–7 mm (0.1–0.3 in) long. The pedicel and perianth are white and red-brown with fine soft matted hairs. Racemes of cream flowers appear in the leaf axils between September and October. The egg-shaped fruit are mostly smooth 2–3 cm (0.8–1 in) long and 1.5–2 cm (0.59–0.79 in) wide, occasionally with small blister-like protuberances. The fruit ending with blunt conspicuous horns up to 2 mm (0.08 in) long.

Taxonomy and naming

Hakea tephrosperma was first formally described by botanist Robert Brown in Supplementum primum prodromi florae Novae Hollandiae in 1830. The specific epithet (tephrosperma) is derived from the Ancient Greek words tephros meaning "ash-coloured" and sperma meaning "seed" referring to the colour of the seed.

Distribution and habitat

Hooked needlewood is a widespread species occurring in drier areas of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Grows in open spinifex and blue-bush (Maireana species) shrubland as an individual tree or in dense thickets on coarse soils. The hooked needlewood is an adaptable species for dry to temperate locations but rarely seen in cultivation.

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