H.victoria.JPG (18813 bytes)Hakea victoria: Fitzgerald River National Park is situated on the south coast of Western Australia. More than 1800 species of native plants occur in the Park. Probably the most famous plant native to Fitzgerald River National Park is Hakea victoria. This striking plant develops into a tall upright shrub with rigid rounded leave.  The leaves have a prickly margin and a green rim. The bulk of the leaves vary, in colour, from bright yellow ageing to orange then brilliant red. Hakea victoria has been called the world’s most beautiful foliage plant.  To see this Hakea in the wild is one of life’s rich horticultural experiences. Unfortunately in cultivation the foliage often does not develop brilliant colours although plants in the USA have developed yellow and orange foliage colours. The flowers and fruits are insignificant in comparison to the leaves. Gloves are needed to harvest the fruits as they are hidden at the base of the prickly leaves. Foliage appears to colour best in poor soil with low nutrients. A theory suggests that the plant gets some nutrients for new growth by removing them from older foliage. This leads to the colour change. Hakea victoria is classified as a rare plant with limited distribution. The total population is protected in Fitzgerald River National Park.
The species is named after Queen Victoria and was first introduced to England in 1845.
The photograph was taken during a botanical tour of Western Australia in 1999.