Some Prickly Hakeas: We are very fond of Hakeas. Many species have made their homes in the gardens at Yallaroo. They have proved to be hardy, fast growing, free flowering, drought resistant and frost tolerant. Most species will propagate readily from seed. Hakeas may be divided into two broad categories. There are those with flat leaves and those with narrow prickly leaves. At Yallaroo we have a number of the latter category in cultivation. Hakea sericea is usually a tall shrub with prickly foliage, white flowers and large woody fruits. We cultivate a pink flowering form, (see image) which has developed into a spreading shrub about two metres tall. A very attractive plant in spring when the flowers appear. Hakea verrucosa is a prickly Western Australian native. Initially the flowers are pink then age to red. This large shrub is not recommended for the smaller garden but is suitable for larger areas. Hakea gibbosa occurs in the Sydney area and produces masses of cream-yellow flowers followed by typical woody fruits. Hakea constablei comes from the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. This tall, upright shrub has white flowers and distinctive fruits. Hakea macrorrynchia is a native of Torrington, an area of great botanical interest near Glen Innes, Northern NSW. Upright growth habit, white flowers and beaked, woody fruits are characteristics of this species. All the species described are surviving and thriving in the Yallaroo gardens. Prickly Hakeas could be grown in shrubberies and hedgerows. They have an important role to play in the creation of wildlife habitat. Prickly foliage provides shelter and nesting sites for small native birds.