Ian Hutton, The Lord Howe Island Signal
Pterostylis orchids are ground herbs that exist for most of the year as an underground tuber, and in season develop small flat leaves in a rosette at the base of a long stem that has a single flower develop at the top. The genus name refers to the winged appearance of the flower parts. The dorsal sepal and petals are fused, forming a hood, which gives the common name to these orchid species.
Lord Howe Island has three species of Pterostylis, this one flowers from July to August and is quite rare, known to grow on some moist shady patches on Mount Gower.
The thin flower stem is 6 to 15 cm tall, with a single flower at the top, 10 to 15 mm long, green, with white near the base and reddish-brown to black tinges near the tip. It is also found from south-eastern Queensland to south eastern South Australia; in New South Wales it mostly occurs in coastal or near coastal districts.
This article appeared in The Lord Howe Island Signal, 31 July 2023.