T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Pterostylis australis (Southern Greenhood) Not local

(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Diurideae
Subtribe: Pterostylidinae
Genus: Pterostylis
Species: Pterostylis australis
Common name: Southern Greenhood

Photographed at DOC campsite at Kakaho Grid reference: NZTM2000, E1836778-N5727610 on the start of the Rimu track walk.

The New Zealand native genus Pterostylis is an interesting one in that it is distinctive by having flowers equipped with a mobile lip. This mobile lip is a pollination adaptation.  The pollinating insect lands on the flower, and alights on the lip.  Its weight causes the lip to tip, forcing the insect into a position where it pollinates the flower.

Pterostylis australis is a  perennial herb forming large colonies through vegetative extension.  It  develops erect smooth flowering stems up to 250 mm tall.  

More information at http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/c/flora/factsheets/NZPCN_Species_1209.pdf