Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Orchidaceae
Pterostylis cycnocephala

Citation: Fitzg., Aust. Orchids 1, 2 (1876).

Synonymy: Hymenochilus cycnocephalus, Oligochaetochilus cycnocephalus

Common name: Swan-headed green-hood, swan green-hood.

Rather stout, 3-15 cm high, leaves 7-9, petiolate, in a crowded basal rosette, oval-elliptical; lamina 10-15 mm long; stem bracts generally 1 or 2, leafy near the base, also a loose one subtending each pedicel.

Flowers small, green, 2-6 in an often spiral usually crowded raceme; galea incurved, blunt, broad, a little more than 7 mm long; lateral sepals (lower lip) shorter than the galea, reflexed; lobes only separated at the extreme tips, latter hardly acute; labellum on a short broad claw (c. 1 mm), highly irritable, quadrate, tip broadly rounded and slightly emarginate; lamina 4-4.5 mm long, traversed by a central raised line; appendage as wide at the base as the labellum, flat and narrowing towards its apex, ending in a dark-green conical process looking towards the tip of the labellum, (curved like the letter C); column nearly 7 mm long, not quite reaching the top of the galea; wings quite rounded; the anterior margin almost semicircular, ciliate, without any tooth, lower lobe broad, triangular, blunt, ciliate; stigma ovate-lanceolate.

Published illustration: Gray (1971) Victorian native orchids 2:49; Curtis (1980) Student's flora of Tasmania 4A:t. 2.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: FR, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, SE.   All States except the N.T.   New Zealand. Occurs in small groups in exposed places on limestone or other rocky areas in Lomandra grassland or Allocasuarina forest in areas receiving 300-600 mm rain per annum.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: July — Oct.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: Similar to P. mutica which has the labellum appendage pointing out of the flower. The two are sometimes sympatric but hybrids have not been observed.

Author: Not yet available

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