Pterostylis areolata


Pterostylis: winged column
areolata: netted, with a network pattern between the veins

Common Name(s)


Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Pterostylis areolata Petrie



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class





Endemic. North and South Islands. In the North Island known from the Tararua Ranges and possibly the Ruahines. In the South Island widespread, mainly east of the main divide but also in Nelson and Fiordland.


Lowland to subalpine. In short or tall tussock grassland, grey scrub, on the margins of wetlands and in open forest.


Terrestrial, tuberous, glabrous, spring to summer-green perennial herb, either solitary in forming small patches of 3-8 plants through vegetative extension. Plant at flowering 70-250 mm tall. Stem erect, smooth, dark green to reddish green, internodes < leaves. Leaves 2-4, with entire margins, shape changing from base to top of stem; lamina 30-90 x 10-25 mm, dark green to yellow-green, the lowest and those of non-flowering plants, broadly elliptic, elliptic, to obovate, apex obtuse to subacute, tapering to a reddish-green broadly winged petiole; uppermost leaves shorter, acute to acuminate; not overtopping the flower. Flower solitary, tipping forwards, large, dark green, green striped with white toward the back of the galea. Ovary erect. Dorsal sepal 30-35 mm tall, mostly erect then sharply horizontal to deflexed, apex shortly acuminate without caudae; lateral sepals diverging at a narrow angle, apices acuminate to shortly caudate, rarely exceeding galea, usually narrowly spreading, decurved. Petals slightly shorter than dorsal sepal, very broad, apex acute. Labellum basally red, apex often distinctly darker; lamina elliptic, slightly arched, toward a narrowly obtuse, flat or pinched in apex. Column mostly taller than labellum; stigma elongate-ovate with a prominent truncate apex.

Similar Taxa

Close to P. australis Hook.f. from which it differs by the fewer, consistently wider elliptic to obovate leaves which do not overtop the galea (rather than leaves which grade from the elliptic (rarely broadly elliptic) to almost linear-lanceolate and may or may not overtop the flower); and by the acuminate, only slightly caudate lateral sepals, and elongate-ovate uniformly red stigma. Unlike some southern populations of P. australis, the leaves of P. areolata are never finely denticulate.


October - November

Flower Colours



November - February

Propagation Technique

Difficult - should not be removed from the wild. Basic orchid mix consists of 2 parts medium coarse sand, ideally clean river sand; 2 parts soil, humus or leaf-mould; 1 part weathered sawdust or rotting wood; 1 part granulated bark. For Pterostylis shade of 50% and pots kept evenly moist.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 44

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available.


Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 14 April 2007: Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970).

References and further reading

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.

This page last updated on 31 Oct 2014