The majority of the plants in the garden have been propagated ourselves from seed and cuttings collected over many years. Western Australia is very well represented with Hakeas, Eucalypts, Acacias, Banksias, Dryandras and Dampieras, but there are also many, plants from Eastern and Central Australia.
As Hakea was a genus that was quite reliable from seed, and which was readily obtainable, we were able to establish quite a collection.
The Ornamental Plant Collections Association and What it is hoping to achieve.
There are many plants being lost in cultivation and we aim discover, identify and propagate some of these. At the same time there is often haphazard and undocumented selection of native plants for cultivation and revegetation. We aim to establish collections of such plants and preserve genetic variation for future use.
We also foster the documentation, study and propagation of plants in collections and ensure that collectors can pass on their plants and expertise so that they are not lost.
We also want to maintain and increase the diversity of plants used in gardens and environmental horticulture by selecting and conserving plants of merit.
Wartook Gardens Hakea collection was established some years ago with plants grown from seed, collected over a wide area of Australia. We are continuing to develop the collection in terms of increasing the number of species and trialling plants in differing situations around the garden in an attempt to order to establish horticultural needs.
Hakeas are members of the Proteaceae family of plants.
There are 149 species of Hakea, which are endemic to Australia. Western Australia has the richest collection, although there are about 40 species in the eastern states. They grow in a wide variety of soils and situations and while some species are widespread and very common, there are some that are regarded as rare.
Generally Hakeas range from small almost prostrate shrubs to small trees, while most would be small to medium sized shrubs. While all species flower well, some are noted particularly for their flowers, others for their fruits, some for their foliage, or for their fragrance, both pleasant and unpleasant. There is almost something for everybody in the Hakeas, and they deserve to be far more widely grown. While most of the showy species are well known, many desirable species have had little exposure to cultivation, and there is still lots to learn about the likes and dislikes of some species. All prefer a sunny situation, but will grow in a variety of well drained soils. Most are frost tolerant and are able to stand periods of dryness. Most respond to pruning, and old plants of lignotuberous species can be completely rejuvenated by heavy pruning. They suffer from few pests and diseases, but in some areas fungal diseases can cause discolouration and spotting of foliage. Grafting of desirable species onto H salicifolia stock has enabled these plants to grow successfully in additional areas.
Most are propagated from seed, but some are successfully grown from cuttings. Because seed is usually retained in woody follicles on the plant for a number of years, it can be collected with relative ease. There are a small number of species that shed seed as it matures, but they are mainly inland or northern Australian Hakeas. Some of the more prickly species can cause some problems, and often a good pair of gloves is useful.
Once seed pods are collected, they will soon release their seeds if stored in a warm dry place. The winged seed should be planted in a well drained seed raising mixture and kept moist. Seed will germinate in 15-45 days in warm conditions, otherwise longer. Seedlings should be pricked out as soon as possible, as they soon develop a long root system which may be damaged in transplanting. Potting into long tubes seems to ensure good root development. Care needs to be taken to ensure that your mixture has been sterilised and that there is plenty of ventilation as seedlings are susceptible to damping off and other fungal diseases.
Plants currently being grown in the collection: