Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Hakea pulvinifera Recovery Plan (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2000f) [Recovery Plan].
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat abatement plan for competition and land degradation by rabbits (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008adh) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Review of the Threatened Species Conservation Act Flora Schedules: Recommendations to the Scientific Committee: Final Summary Report December 2002 (Hogbin, P., 2002) [Report].
NSW:Lake Keepit Hakea - profile (NSW Office of Environment & Heritage (NSW OEH), 2014c) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
Scientific name Hakea pulvinifera [14228]
Family Proteaceae:Proteales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author L.Johnson
Infraspecies author  
Reference Contributions from the New South Wales National Herbarium 3: 93 (17 Sep. 1962).
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Other illustrations Google Images

Hakea pulvinifera is a shrub or small tree growing to 4 m tall (Johnson 1962), with thick tessellated, cork-like bark, highly divided leaves and creamy white flowers (Harden 1991; Barker et al. 1999; NSW NPWS 2000f). The species takes its name from the prominent cushion-like swellings or 'pulvini' at the base of each pair of flowers (Johnson 1962).

This species is only known from its type locality, adjacent to the Namoi River, in the Lake Keepit State Recreation Area near Gunnedah, NSW (Benson 1988; Johnson 1962). The type collection was made in 1950 and the species was formally described in 1962 (Johnson 1962). During the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was feared that the only known population had been destroyed by earthworks (Leigh et al. 1984) but it was relocated undisturbed in 1988 (Barker & Morrison 1989).

The population consists of fewer than 150 individual plants in an area of approx. 0.32 ha. In general, individuals are well spaced (NSW NPWS 2000f). Three recruits, which were less than 15 cm in height, were observed in autumn 1998. Each was within 2.5 m of larger 'adult' plants and was probably a root sucker, although this was not confirmed (NSW NPWS 2000f).

Most of the oldest age class of individuals is considered senescent and the population as a whole seems to be in a protracted decline. There appears to be a high degree of recent mortality. Of the 18 individuals tagged for monitoring purposes in 1988, one was confirmed dead and three could not be relocated (NSW NPWS 2000f).

Hakea pulvinifera is within the corkwood group of the genus. However the absence of fruits and the paucity of suitable morphological characters makes it hard to establish relationships between H. pulvinifera and other Hakea species (NSW NPWS 2000f).

This species exists as a single population on a rocky hillside below Keepit Dam (Benson 1988; McAuliffe 1996; Barker et al. 1999). It occurs on a steep slope that ranges from 30-50 degrees and faces nearly due west (Benson 1988) at an altitude of around 320 m above sea level. Throughout much of the year, the site is hot and dry, being exposed to direct sunlight through the hottest part of the day. The skeletal sandy clays seem to be well-drained and the soils are "earthy", derived from Keepit Conglomerate which appears to have a high feldspar content (Benson 1988). The climate of the area is dry sub-tropical. Winters are typically mild to cool with moderate rainfall, while summers are hot, and punctuated by heavy rainfall events. The average annual rainfall of nearby Gunnedah is 614 mm (Johnson 1962; Barker & Morrison 1989; Harden 1991; NSW NPWS 2000f).

The vegetation of the site is sparse low-open woodland with tall shrubs and sparse groundcover. It is dominated by Callitris glaucophylla in the highest stratum. Hakea pulvinifera is the dominant plant in an open, middle stratum with Alstonia constricta and Acacia decora also present as shrubs. A sparse cover of grasses and forbs forms a ground layer but at least 50% of the site is bare earth or rock (Benson 1988).The most common ground-cover species present is the introduced plant Petrorhagia nanteuilli (Proliferous Pink), while other common species are the introduced annual Verbascum virgatum, and the native grasses Aristida sp., Themeda australis, Cymbopogon obtectus and Heteropogon contorta (Benson 1988; NSW NPWS 2000f). The site has not been burnt for decades, if at all, this century (Benson 1988).

Flowering synchronously and prolifically for two to three weeks (P.Christie pers. obs. in NSW NPWS 2000f) between mid-Sept. and mid-Nov. Readily flowers, but no fruit has ever been observed since 1949 when the species was discovered; no young plants have ever been recorded in the field. It seems from observations that this species is not reproducing sexually.

The species may be clonal and survive by vegetative recruitment only, with the smaller plants probably being suckers from roots of older plants (as in many related Corkwoods) (Benson 1988; Boden 1988; Barker & Morrison 1989; Harden 1991). In 1988, at least two size classes were recorded within the population, suggesting that reproduction may accompany environmental 'episodes' (environmental events that trigger recruitment). Until recently there has been limited documentation of recruitment (from either seed or root suckers) (Benson 1988). All plants are likely to be a single clone (Barker et al. 1999). Unpublished, preliminary work has found no genetic variation between 17 individuals in the population (I.Sharma in NSW NPWS 2000f). This work supports the hypothesis that the population comprises a single clone (NSW NPWS 2000f).

It is likely that Hakea pulvinifera is slow growing; the larger plants may be hundreds of years old (Benson 1988).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat alteration (vegetation, soil, hydrology) due to trampling and grazing by livestock Hakea pulvinifera Recovery Plan (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2000f) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Hakea pulvinifera Recovery Plan (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2000f) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Soil disturbance and/or trampling due to bushwalking Hakea pulvinifera Recovery Plan (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2000f) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Hakea pulvinifera Recovery Plan (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2000f) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Introduction of pathogens and resultant disease Hakea pulvinifera Recovery Plan (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2000f) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Hakea pulvinifera Recovery Plan (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2000f) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Invasion and competition from native plant species Hakea pulvinifera Recovery Plan (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2000f) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Hakea pulvinifera Recovery Plan (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2000f) [Recovery Plan].

Barker, R.M., Haegi, L. & Barker, W.R. (1999). Hakea. In: Orchard, A.E., H.S.Thompson & P.M.McCarthy, eds. Flora of Australia. 17B:31-170. Canberra/Melbourne: ABRS/CSIRO.

Barker, W.R. & S.P. Morrison (1989). Hakea pulvinifera L. Johnson (Proteaceae): A rediscovered species under threat. Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. 11:175-177.

Benson, J. (1988). Survey report on Hakea pulvinifera (Proteaceae) L. Johnson, Lake Keepit State Recreation Area. Hurstville: NSW NPWS.

Boden, R. (1988). Back from the brink. Department Arts, Sport, Environment, Tourism and Territories (DASETT) Update. 40:6.

Harden, G.J. (ed.) (1991). Flora of New South Wales, Volume Two. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

Johnson, L.A.S. (1962). Taxonomic Notes on Australian Plants. Contributions from the New South Wales National Herbarium. 3(3):93-102. NSW Natl Herbarium.

Leigh, J., R. Boden & J. Briggs (1984). Extinct and Endangered Plants of Australia. Melbourne, Victoria: Macmillan.

McAuliffe, J. (1996). Propagation success with endangered species: Hakea pulvinifera. Danthonia. 4(4):11.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (2000f). Hakea pulvinifera Recovery Plan. [Online]. Hurstville: NSW NPWS. Available from:

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2000). Personal communication. Sydney: NSW NPWS.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Hakea pulvinifera in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Fri, 19 Sep 2014 07:29:01 +1000.