Hakea. PROTEACEAE (Protea family)
Hakea laurina. PIN-CUSHION HAKEA. Western Australia.
You will fall in love with the blossoms, especially if you have never seen a spherical flower before. The bright red pompom bristles with firm cream-colored kinky stamens and keeps very well if picked—generally one of the 4-inch leaves is intimately meshed with it. The woody beaked fruits contain two black winged seeds that can easily be germinated and grown, but not in poorly drained adobe.
Several mature standard trees have been lost, probably because of cold locations. Specimens in the residential area are still being sought.
Hakea suaveolens. SWEET HAKEA. Western Australia
A dense shrub growing to about 10 feet with attractive soft green feathery new growth in spring, but not a plant to walk into in the dark. The leaves harden into forked needles sharpened to a point. The flowers are small, white, and sweetly scented and lead to beaked woody fruits containing two winged seeds. One wonders what evolutionary step favored the investment of so much wood to protect only two seeds.
A row on Escondido Road, west of Campus Drive East, has been lost to relandscaping.
Illus.: McMinn, Howard E. and Evelyn Maino. 1951. An illustrated manual of Pacific coast trees; with lists of trees recommended for various uses on the Pacific coast by H. W. Shepherd. 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.