Hakea laurina (Pin-cushion Hakea) A large upright bushy shrub or round headed small tree that can reach 12 to 20 feet tall by nearly as wide but can be trained up and pruned to suit. It has smooth gray bark that hold the attractive 5 to 7 inch long blue-green lanceolate leaves that have prominent veins and a sharp point at the tip. In late spring into early summer the pale flower buds begin to form in tight clusters but do not begin to open until late fall and are at their peak in early to mid-winter. The lightly scented flower heads look like round pin-cushions with a soft pink colored globular center with the long white to pale pink styles projecting out like the pins. The pink coloration darkens to a deep carmine as the flowers age.
Best in full sun but tolerant of some shade. Irrigate regularly, occasionally to very little once established - it is a drought tolerant plant that also tolerates more regular watering but if grown with ample water it may become top heavy and fall over. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types, but does not like to be water logged, so best where soil can drain soil. It is cold hardy to around 20°F , so useful in gardens in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 – 11, and can grow with some protection close that the ocean (Zone 2). A very attractive plant that can be pruned into a rounded bushy shape or a hedge or limbed up as a small tree. It is great for attracting bees and birds to the garden and useful for cut flower arrangements.
Pin-cushion Hakea occurs naturally in the sandplains of the coastal southwest of Australia. The name for the genus honors Baron Christian L. von Hake, a 18th and 19th century German patron of botany and the specific epithet is a reference to its laurel-like, of the leaves. Other common names include Sea Urchin, Kodjet and Emu Bush. This was one of the earliest Australian plant introductions into England in 1830 and first appeared in the USA in a plant exhibition in San Francisco in 1871. It was in cultivation in Santa Barbara prior to 1895 as documented by its existence in gardens in the city when Dr Francesco Franceschi (Emanuele Orazio Fenzi) arrived in Santa Barbara that year. The image on this page courtesy of Austalian Native Plant Nursery.
Information about Hakea laurina displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.