Pterostylis cardiostigma


Pterostylis: winged column

Common Name(s)

None known

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 cardiostigma D.Cooper



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



None (first described in 1983)


Endemic. North and South Islands.


Coastal to montane. In indigenous or exotic forests and shrubland. Found in similar habitats to that frequented by P. banksii (with which it often grows). This species usually occurs as single plants or as widely spaced colonies of 4-6 plants.


Stout, terrestrial, tuberous, leafy, spring to summer-green perennial herb. Tuber usually 1(-2), heart-shaped supporting 4-5 thick lateral roots. Plant at flowering up to 400 mm tall. Stem stout, thick, dark green or pinkish-green, basal portion covered by 3-4 pink to carmine sheathing bracts; internodes short. Leaves all cauline, 5-7, sessile, usually strictly upright, uppermost overtopping galea; lamina 80-280 x 10-20 mm, dark green, linear-lanceolate, acuminate; midrib prominent, red, slightly to deeply grooved above, 2(-3) lateral yellow veins present either side, keel prominent, usually red. Flowers solitary, mostly green finely striped with white, apices usually pinkish or red, erect, tall and very narrow. Dorsal sepal up to 70 mm long, vertical in lower half, upper half steeply inclined rarely horizontal, apex acuminate, dark red. Lateral sepals overtopping galea, narrowly spreading, with long filiform, red caudae. Petals 60-65 mm long, marginal strip long and exposed, apices red; galea width at petal apex 6 mm. Labellum narrow, long, triangular, arching in upper third, apex acuminate; distal half red with pale retrorse hairs on the upper surface and a dark red dorsal median ridge becoming paler near base; undersides with red median groove. Column shorter than labellum, stigma prominent, cordate, Ovary erect 10-30 mm tall.

Similar Taxa

The stout growth habit, reddish stems, leaves; deeply ribbed erect leaves overtopping the flower, and the single erect, scarcely opened, tall and narrow green finely white striped, pinkish flower are distinctive of this species. If the flower is prised open the distinctive rather prominent, heart-shaped stigma is especially diagnostic. This species is most often confused with Pterostylis banksii with which it often grows, and with which it is usually confused, appearing rather deceptively as a plant with an emergent, as yet unopened flower.


October - December

Flower Colours



December - March

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 modified from Cooper (1983).

References and further reading

Cooper, D.A. 1983: Pterostylis cardiostigma - a new species of Orchidaceae from Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 21: 97-100.

Hatch, E.D. 1990. Pterostylis cardiostigma D. Cooper a new record for the Waitakeres. Auckland Botanical Society Journal, 45: 18. 

Young, M. 1991. The northward march of Pterostylis cardiostigma D. Cooper. Auckland Botanical Society Journal, 46: 22-24.

This page last updated on 31 Oct 2014