Tiny Greenhood Flower

Tiny Greenhood (Pterostylis parviflora)

Yesterday during a visit, a very sharp-eyed friend pointed to something that looked to me like a small blade of grass and said “Oh look!  A little Greenhood.”   The other Greenhoods we have had growing here seem to appear in late Winter, or early Spring, so I was a little doubtful, but took a photo anyway.  She was right.  It was a little Greenhood.  In fact it is named Tiny Greenhood or Baby Greenhood.  With flowers approximately 8 mm long and just 2 mm across, with an impossibly slim stem approximately 5 cm high,  this Greenhood is extremely hard to see while walking.   Today my legs are sore from squatting and trying to spot more of them yesterday.  Orchid spotting can be just as effective as going to a gym, I reckon.

According to David L Jones ‘Native Orchids of Australia” the Tiny Greenhood has the smallest flowers  in the Genus.  Apparently, Tiny Greenhoods can have anywhere from one to thirteen flowers on a single stem The flowers can be either green and white or green and brown.  I am still working out whether we have both colours or just the green and white ones.

The Tiny Greenhoods we found yesterday seemed to be growing near Parsons Bands Orchids.  This could be because we were squatting down to see the Parsons Bands Orchids, which made it easier to see the Tiny Greenhoods… or they may like similar conditions. I’m not sure.

I’m sure there will be a Part 2 to this post as I intend to find a few more plants and explore the variations in size and colour.  For now though, here are two photos to start with.  I am SO THANKFUL for the macro lens as there is no way I could have photographed the detail without one.

Tiny Greenhood Flower
This photograph shows a flower with green and white stripes.
Tiny Greenhood
This stem has two flowers, with the bottom one showing a brown and white striped interior. I don’t know enough to explain what this is, but I am trying to find out!



7 thoughts on “Tiny Greenhood (Pterostylis parviflora)

    1. I’ve just looked at your Pearl Milkweed photograph. What a beautiful flower. I don’t think we have anything like it over here. Thanks for the link. There are many different types of Greenhoods over here, and they are all essentially green or green and white flowers – with a few exceptions. Over Spring I hope to add to my A to Z species list a few more Greenhoods! 🙂 All of these are on our property, which is even better. Thanks, Lisa

      1. You’re right that having all those plants on your property makes it even better. I almost always have to go somewhere to find things to photograph; only an occasional native plant puts in an appearance in our yard.

  1. So nice! I got some tubers from a forum-friend, they grew well the first year and then dissappeared – terrestrial orchids are a challenge! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for telling me about your experience in growing terrestrial orchids. I haven’t tried to do that so far. At the moment I am trying to distinguish the different species of greenhoods. I think we have at least two, maybe three tiny species coming up at the moment, but still haven’t been able to pinpoint the differences clearly enough. Lisa

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