Common name: Sickle Greenhood
Pterostylis falcata R.S.Rogers APNI*
Description: Terrestrial herb.
Rosette leaves 3–5, scattered on the basal part of the stem, ovate to lanceolate to elliptic, 2–8 cm long 15–25 mm wide, margins entire; sessile.
Scape to 30 cm high; stem smooth. Flower 4.5–6 cm long, erect, dark green and white, erect. Apex of galea flat or a long, sweeping curve. Dorsal sepal acuminate. Lateral sepals loosely embracing the galea leaving a lateral gap; sinus deeply V-shaped when viewed from the front, protruding in a shallow curve when viewed from the side; free points linear-tapered, c. 35 mm long, erect or recurved, apex sometimes toothed. Petals narrow, subacute. Labellum narrow-ovate to lanceolate, 17–22 mm long, 3–4 mm wide, brown, curved forwards in the distal half, subacute to obtuse, distal half protruding from the sinus in the set position.
Distribution and occurrence: Northern, Central, and Southern Coasts and Tablelands, also Queensland, Victoria, and Tasmania.
Grows in wet situations such as seepage areas, wetland edges, or near streams.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, ST, SWS
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
One of the most striking, handsome, and distinctive of our Pterostylis species. Could be confused with Pterostylis lustra but that species has much smaller flowers, to 45 mm long in comparison with the 60 mm flowers of P. falcata. Pterostylis falcata hybridises wth P. nutans, producing P.x ingens (Rupp) D.L.Jones. Previously known by the name Pterostylis furcata, but that species is allied to P. monticola, P. alpina and P. aneba, and is considered endemic to Tasmania (Jones 1998).
Text by D.L. Jones updated by Matt A.M. Renner (18 Dec 2019).
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993) Jones DL (1998) A taxonomic review of Pterostylis in Tasmania. Australian Orchid Research 3: 135–177.
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.