Calling Orchid Enthusiasts: Help Please!

In an earlier post I reported that I had found one solitary Maroonhood Orchid.  Since then, I’ve discovered three small colonies.   However, I’m unsure if one of these colonies is the same species, or a sub-species.  Can anyone help me to correctly identify it from the photographs below?  I have spent quite a bit of time reading and researching but so far I have not come across anything I can use to specifically identify the plant in Photo 2, so any help you can provide would be very much appreciated.

Photo 1:  Maroonhood

One of the Orchids is definitely a Maroonhood, with dark colouring on the dorsal sepal, the petals, the lateral sepals and the sinus.

This flower meets all of the descriptive criteria for a Maroonhood., with dark colouring on the Galea, the Sinus and the Dorsal Sepals.


Photo 2: Please identify.   Is this also a Maroonhood?

Comparing the dark markings on this flower to the one above, it is evident that the Dorsal Sepal is green, and only the petals at the sides of the Galea are maroon or brown in colour.  There is also just the slightest hint of a blush on the Sinus.  All of the plants in this colony had the same characteristics, so it is not just an anomaly for this individual plant.

Is this a Maroonhood or a different species? Note the green dorsal sepal, green lateral sepals, and mostly green sinus.





13 thoughts on “Calling Orchid Enthusiasts: Help Please!

  1. These are wonderful photos! I love your interest in this plant, which is so delicate and interesting.
    I am no help to you in identifying these plants! But I might be able to offer some suggestions to help you draw attention to your site and this post.
    1) Fill your post title with keywords. The title is the most powerful search component of your post. Keywords are the search terms a person might use to find something on the internet. So rather than “Calling Orchid Enthusiasts, Please Help!” you might try “Maroon Hood Plant Identification – Australia” (If ever you edit a post title, be sure to click on the “Edit” button just below the title in your text editor (where you write your posts) and delete the old title and copy and paste the new title into that editor. WordPress (WP) will add the hyphens between words and put it all in lower case, which is how it should be in the url/address of the post.)
    2) When you think about what keywords to use in your title, think of the terms a person would type in to find your post. “Maroon Hood” would be one. “Plant identification” might be another. And to help you further, you might want to use your location “Australia.”
    3) Start every post with a photo at the top – people love photos and will stay longer if they see a photo immediately and fully. Get in the habit of saying, “…the photo above” rather than “the photo below”!!!
    4) You may already be doing this, but before you upload a photo to WP, label it with keywords that will draw people to your site. In terms of search power, photo labels are the next strongest pull to a post or site, second only to the post title. That’s huge power in a photo. So, be sure you take advantage of this power and label your photos with keywords. Before you upload your image into WP, change its name from, say, “DSC_0147.jpg” to “maroon-head-plant-in-Australia” (be sure the .jpg is still attached to the label) – use up to five words in lower case, separated by hyphens. On the image that you are not sure about, you might label it “maroon-head-plant-possibly” (or “maybe” instead of “possibly”).

    Sorry if I’m repeating myself in these comments! I try to help sites I enjoy learn to maximize the tips I’ve picked up along the way!

    Good luck. If it’s not a Maroon Hood, I’d say it’s a close cousin! Is there a male and female version of this plant? Do its colors change through a season? If it’s a perennial, does it change from year to year as it ages? Birds do this sort of morphing….so I wonder. Plus, bird feathers change color in mating season! It can be very difficult to identify similar bird species with all these changes occurring!

    Again, good luck!


    1. Hi Mary, Thanks for the tips. I do some of these things already (rename the file, use keywords, write alt text with keywords etc) but yes, maybe I need to look more closely at the words I use and the title. I will implement some of your suggestions later on today with this post. Thanks for your interest in helping me gain traction. I appreciate it. 🙂 Lisa

      1. You’re welcome!
        Glad you mentioned “alt text” – I forgot to mention it! Also, be sure that the keywords you use in the title and for the photos are actually in the content of your post. Otherwise, the search engines might see the words in the title and the labels on the photos as spam!

  2. PS One more thing you might do if you haven’t already, is to go to the sites of plant folks and ask them to have a look at your post. Give them the link in a comment or through an email address if they provide one. The internet is all about sharing info and being good neighbors and friends!

    1. Yes, I sometimes do this, but I also have orchid enthusiasts as followers of Fifteen Acres – including some very knowledgeable people. It was these people I was appealing to in the title. I guess I should have a wider focus. It’s a good point to make. Thank you for pointing it out. Lisa

      1. Oh, great (about the followers who might be able to help out)! You’ve got me so curious about this plant! You’d think I had nothing to do but be concerned about a tiny plant identification half way around the world from where I am!!! I actually have tons to do but I love the distraction of this puzzle! Good luck!

  3. Hi Lisa

    I would think that the two plants you have photographed are the same species. Often there will be variety within a species. So you have correctly identified it as Pterostylis pedunculata more commonly known as the maroonhood.


    1. l would agree that these orchids are indeed Maroonhoods, & yes, variations in this orchid can & do occur, l am currently clearing a 80 year old hills garden & there is in situ a massive healthy clump of these lovely orchids. l have also seen the common Greenhoods in abundance at Mount Dandenong.

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