Pterostylis despectans (Nicholls) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones

in M.A.Clem., Cat. Austral. Orchid. (Austral. Orchid Res. 1) 122 (1989) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:EPBC: endangered (EN); Victoria: endangered (e); listed in Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Flowering plant 3–8 cm tall, stem leaves 3 or 4, closely sheathing. Rosette leaves 5–10, elliptic to obovate, 1–2 cm long, 6–9 mm wide, margins scabrid. Flowers 1–6,  porrect to deflexed, 1–1.5 cm long, on slender pedicels to 1.5 cm long, transparent with brown, greyish or green markings and suffusions; dorsal sepal with an upcurved filiform point 10–13 mm long; lateral sepals deflexed, conjoined part narrowly ovate to elliptic in outline when flattened, shallowly concave, margins slightly incurved, densely ciliate, free points filamentous, 2–2.5 cm long, curved forwards, more or less parallel, often touching the ground, c. 10 mm apart at the tips; petals with a poorly developed proximal flange. Labellum oblong-elliptic, 4.5–5 mm long, c. 2 mm wide, green or brown, thin-textured; marginal hairs 8–10 pairs, c. 0.5 mm long, white; basal lobe erect, with 2 prominent, forward-pointing hairs c. 3 mm long. Flowers Oct.–Dec.

CVU, Gold, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Localized in Victoria where known from a few sites near Maryborough in Box/Ironbark forest, and discovered more recently in grasslands north of Bendigo and woodland south of Horsham.

Remarkable for its dwarf habit, long pedicels and the often deflexed flowers with the free points of the lateral sepals commonly touching the soil surface.

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
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Distribution map


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Pterostylis despectans in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Pterostylis despectans in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory