Blunt Greenhood (Pterostylis curta)

We’ve had Blunt Greenhoods growing in reasonable numbers each year we’ve been living here, and I have photographed them each year.  For some reason, they haven’t yet featured in a post – until today!

At the moment we have two small colonies of Blunt Greenhoods, with the prospect of finding more. They seem to be just emerging in the last week, and continue to flower right into October.   One colony is in the grassed area at the front of the property and the other colony is in the bush section of our property, so this indicates they have a wide tolerance for growing conditions.  According to David L. Jones the prefer open woodland but can grow in a range of habitats.

In describing the difference between species of Greenhood, a few botanical terms are needed.  I’m just learning these now.  The large curved petal that forms the hood is called the Dorsal Sepal. The Dorsal Sepal is fused with two small petals, which form the sides of the hood. Together, the Dorsal Sepal and the two petals are called the Galea.  The two curved spikes are called the Lateral Sepals.  The uppermost point at the front of the flower where the Lateral Sepals meet is called the Sinus.  The Column is hidden inside the flower with the Labellum protruding.   The size, colour, angle, and degree of curvature of these flower parts are used to distinguish between similar species.

Simplifying David L. Jones’ description, Blunt Greenhoods can be identified by the shape of the Galea, which is mostly erect, but with a slight curve at the top.  The Sinus is large and the Lateral Sepals only loosely “embrace’ the Galea.   The Labellum is brown and slightly protrudes at the Sinus, with a slight twist at the end.  All of these features can be seen in my photographs below.


The erect Dorsal Sepal, and ‘loose embrace; of the Lateral Sepals can be seen here, along with the protruding Labellum.
Blunt Greenhood from the front, showing the wide Sinus and the slight twist in the Labellum.

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