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Silver Needle Hakea
Characteristics: Shrub or small tree 4 m spread 2 m
Seed per packet: 6
Halea leucoptera takes the habit of a small tree with an open branched crown to 4 m high or bushy shrub to 2 m high. Branches usually straight and rigid, with needle like leaves 10 cm long.
Creamy white flowers occur in clusters in the leaf axils from spring to summer.
Endemic to central and eastern Australia
Hardy plant that is adaptable to most conditions but prefers a light alkaline soil in an open sunny position, drought and frost resistant.
Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn in temperate climates, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C.
Pre-germination of seed by sowing into a closed container containing moist vermiculite or a similar material is also a useful method of germinating seeds, particularly for winter sowing when outdoor temperatures may be unsuitable. Germination usually occurs in 1-2 weeks using this method and when the root has reached about a centimetre or so in length, the seedling can be placed into a small pot of seed raising mix. (Source Australian Native Plants Society)
Pre-treatment of smoke: Not considered critical for this Hakea but may be beneficial.
Many members of the Proteaceae are responsive to pre-treatment of smoke. Although germination will often occur without smoke treatment it has proved to be beneficial in reducing the number of days to germination and increasing germination rates in many species.
Smoke treatments are simple and can be undertaken either by soaking the seed overnight or by applying to the surface after sowing, both provide good results. Smoke treatments available by clicking here.
General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.