Pterostylis cycnocephala W.Fitzg.

Swan Greenhood

Austral. Orch. 1 (2): t. 7 (1876) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering plant to 20 cm tall, stem leaves 3–6, closely sheathing. Rosette leaves 6–12, elliptic, 1–3.5 cm long, 0.8–1.5 cm wide, shortly petiolate to nearly sessile, crowded, margins entire. Flowers 2–24, uncrowded, 7–9 mm long, green with darker lines, shiny; galea curved throughout, suddenly decurved near the apex; dorsal sepal acute; lateral sepals deflexed, conjoined part broadly ovate in outline when flattened, 5.5–6 mm long, 4.5–5 mm wide, margins incurved, concave, free points broadly triangular, c. 2 mm long, parallel; petals broadest near the base, obtuse. Labellum pale green with a dark green basal appendage; lamina obovate-oblong, c. 2.5 mm long, c. 2 mm wide; appendage c. 1 mm long, with a prominent central beak pointing forward. Flowers Aug.–Dec.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, MuM, NIS, SnM, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Also SA, Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. New Zealand. Widespread from near the coast to well inland in open-forest, woodland and grassland, on well-drained soils.

The closely related Pterostylis crassicaulis can be distinguished by its more robust habit, heavily striped bluish green and white flowers and subalpine to alpine habitat.

Pterostylis spissa from stony rise grasslands has narrower rosette leaves, slightly smaller, more crowded, bright green flowers.

Source: Jones, D.L. (1994). Pterostylis. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-15
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Pterostylis
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Pterostylis cycnocephala in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Pterostylis cycnocephala in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native