Alice Springs Flora •

Alice Springs FloraAnnual Yellowtop Acacia ligulata Apple Bush Bougainvillea Burdekin Plum Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqa) Cattle Bush Desert Cotton (Aerva javanica) Desert Oak Eremophila Wildberry Feijoa sellowiana Flannel Cudweed Fork-leaf Corkwood Ghost Gum Golden Everlasting Kurrajong Lemon-flowered Gum MacDonnell’s Desert Fuchsia Native Bluebell Native Tomato Needlewood Olive Tree Perennial Yellow Top Rat’s Tail River Red Gum Inland River Red Gum Rosy Dock Round-leaved Mallee Scurvy Grass Silky Eremophila Stemodia viscosa Striped Mintbush Sturt’s Desert Pea Sturt’s Desert Rose Tangled Leschenaultia Tar Vine Weeping Bottlebrush White Cedar Yellow Billybutton Yellow-keeled Swainsona Yellow Oleander

Pictured here is a Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera) tree growing in a garden in Alice Springs. A scraggly tree (next to a fence line and closely planted with other plants) is just over 3 metres in height.

Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera), Alice Springs NT
Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera), Alice Springs NT

The sharp points of the leaves of the Hakea leucoptera is where it gets the common name Needlewood. These narrow cylindrical shaped leaves are straight (rarely curved), alternating up the stems, measuring between 2-10 cm long and about 1.2 to 2 mm in diameter.

Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera), Alice Springs NT
Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera), Alice Springs NT

Located at the base of the leaves are the spider-like flowers has 4 white to yellow ‘petals’ and are in clusters of 18-45 flowers.

Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera), Alice Springs NT
Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera), Alice Springs NT

The Hakea leucoptera is a shrub to small tree, whose white-creamed coloured to yellow flowers appear in early spring and summer.

Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera), Alice Springs NT
Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera), Alice Springs NT
Needlewood seed pod (Hakea leucoptera), Alice Springs NT
Needlewood seed pod (Hakea leucoptera), Alice Springs NT

The flowers attract a variety of insects including European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera), Soapberry Bug (Leptocoris sp), flies and other insects.

The Needlewood (Hakea leucoptera) in our Flora section, and the Needlewood Hakea can also be seen in the Olive Pink Botanic Garden in Alice Springs NT.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Charophyta
  • Class: Equisetopsida
  • Subclass: Magnoliidae
  • Superorder: Proteanae
  • Order: Proteales
  • Family: Proteaceae
  • Genus: Hakea
  • Species: Hakea Leucoptera

Footnote & References

  1. Many thanks for help with the species ID to members of the Australian Indigenous Plant Identification Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1469859343324569/
  2. Hakea leucoptera R.Br., Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://id.biodiversity.org.au/node/apni/2911444
  3. Hakea Leucoptera, Woolshed Thurgoona Landcare Group, https://wtlandcare.org/details/hakea-leucoptera/

Alice Springs FloraAnnual Yellowtop Acacia ligulata Apple Bush Bougainvillea Burdekin Plum Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqa) Cattle Bush Desert Cotton (Aerva javanica) Desert Oak Eremophila Wildberry Feijoa sellowiana Flannel Cudweed Fork-leaf Corkwood Ghost Gum Golden Everlasting Kurrajong Lemon-flowered Gum MacDonnell’s Desert Fuchsia Native Bluebell Native Tomato Needlewood Olive Tree Perennial Yellow Top Rat’s Tail River Red Gum Inland River Red Gum Rosy Dock Round-leaved Mallee Scurvy Grass Silky Eremophila Stemodia viscosa Striped Mintbush Sturt’s Desert Pea Sturt’s Desert Rose Tangled Leschenaultia Tar Vine Weeping Bottlebrush White Cedar Yellow Billybutton Yellow-keeled Swainsona Yellow Oleander

Alice Springs FaunaAlice Springs Bees Alice Springs Beetles Alice Springs Birds Alice Springs Butterflies & Moths Alice Springs Insects Alice Springs Dragonflies Alice Springs Orthoptera Alice Springs Reptiles Alice Springs Spiders Alice Springs Wasps Alice Springs Water Scorpion Black-footed Rock Wallaby Euro Garden Mantis