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IDM KwaZulu-Natal - Silky Needlebush - Hakea sericea

Hakea sericea DistributionA solid black dot indicates where the species is found.

Hakea sericea - Silky Needlebush is a major problem in the Fynbos Biome. It is characterized by its needle leaves and ball-like sprays of delicate white flowers bome in spring. The seeds are stored on the plant in hard, woody follicles. It was introduced into South Africa as a security (hedge) plant, and has spread from these. It is a native to southeastern Australia, in a wide variety of habitats, as an understory under Eucalyptus Gums.

HA SERI has been atlassed from Pondoland on the KwaZulu-Natal border. It will almost certainly be associated witb heathlands and other veld types that burn every 3-5 years.

With over 800 species of proteas in Australia, it is surprising that so few Australian species have invaded South Afiica. However, only a handful of species have been planted on a large scale. These include species planted as security hedges (essentially 3 Hakea species - all of which have become major pests), for screening (Hakea salicifolia - which has recently - after 100 years been reported as spreading), for silviculture (Grevillea robusta) and as ornamentals (Grevillea banksii). With the increase in popularity of proteas as cut flowers and ornamentals, it is only a matter of time before more Australian proteas are planted and the problems become more severe. Most Australian proteas are adapted to fire, and many store their seeds on the plants, as do our Fynbos species. By contrast, many other species (e.g. in Grevillea) appear to be more adapted to subtropical forests and thickets, where fires are not so prevalent.

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