Nodding Greenhood Neil Blair/RBGV

Nodding Greenhood

Pterostylis nutans

Flowering orchid up to 30 cm tall.

This orchid is pollinated by a species of fungus gnat, attracted to the flower by a chemical produced by the plant. The insect enters the flower, which temporarily traps it inside, and in attempting to escape, it comes into contact with the sexual organs of the flower and pollination occurs.

Leaves

Egg-shaped to elliptic dark-green leaves in rosette arrangement at the base of the stem, 3 – 9 cm long, 1 – 3 cm wide. Leaf margins wavy or crisped.

Flowers

Single flower ‘hood’ emerging on a flowering spike 8 - 30 cm tall. Flowers are 1.8 – 2.5 cm long, showing a strong ‘nodding’ position; and are a translucent white colour, with green stripes and orange/brown colouration at the tips.

 

Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower

  • Full flowering (record all days)

  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)

  • No flowering

Climate Adaptations

By virtue of their sensitivity to the changes in the climate, epiphytes and orchids provide a forewarning about impending damages and act as bio-indicators.

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Flowers from winter to spring (May to October)
  • Dies back to base during summer

Where To Look

  • Eastern states of Australia
  • In areas of dry sclerophyll forest, wet sclerophyll forest and coastal scrub
  • In moist rich soils, semi shade to full shade
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

Similar Species

May be confused with other greenhood orchids (orchids with green flowers) in the same genus. Nodding Greenhood is distinguished by the obvious ‘nodding’ (downturned) position of the flower.