Plants of
South Australia
Pterostylis psammophila
Orchidaceae
Two-bristle Greenhood
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Etymology

Pterostylis from the Greek ‘pteron’ meaning a wing and ‘stylis’ meaning a style or column; referring to the prominent wings found at the top of the column in all species. Psammophila from the Greek 'psammos' meaning sand and 'philos' meaning love; referring to the plant's affinity for sandy soil.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found only in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, growing on deep white sand in Callitris and broombush shrub-land. Native. Very rare in South Australia.
Herbarium region: Southern Lofty
NRM region: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

A deciduous perennial orchid with a single underground tuber from which the leaves and flowers emerge annually. Leaves to 5 cm long with serrated margins in a ground hugging basal rosette of six to 16 ovate overlapping leaves, often partly covered with loose sand. Inflorescence a short and stocky spike to 15 cm high with green or translucent white flowers that quickly senesce. Flowering between August and September. Fruits are brown papery ellipsoid capsule.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and December. Collect fat capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules. Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the seeds. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place or in liquid nitrogen.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA48,000 (0.017 g)612-Nov-2019Sandy Creek CP
Southern Lofty
24-Jun-2020N/C-18°C
BGA270,000 (0.093 g)1712-Nov-2019JRG726
Southern Lofty
24-Jun-2020N/C-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.