Pterostylis oliveri


Pterostylis: winged column

Common Name(s)

Olivers Greenhood

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 oliveri 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. South Island in the west from north-west Nelson to about Arthurs Pass National Park.


Montane forest and subalpine scrub (rarely above 1200 m a.s.l.). Often along stream sides or under shrubs growing in dense drifts of partially decomposed leaf litter. Sometimes common on track side banks and cuttings.


Terrestrial, tuberous, glabrous, spring to summer-green perennial herb, mostly solitary or forming small patches of 3-5 plants through vegetative extension. Plant at flowering 100-380 mm tall. Stem more or less erect to decumbent, smooth, yellow green to green, internodes mostly shorter than leaves, sometimes very short near base. Leaves 4-6, spreading, margins entire, size changing from base to top of stem; lamina of lower leaves 50-100 x 20-30 mm, oval to broadly elliptic or narrowly obovate, apex obtuse, narrowing to a broadly winged, mostly short petiole; upper leaves progressively more acute, the uppermost little shorter but sessile, ovate, sometimes almost acuminate, often reaching but scarcely overtopping the galea. Flower solitary, erect, front mostly dark green finely striped with white, stripes of white widening toward back of galea with green narrowing. Ovary erect. Dorsal sepal 30-50 mm tall, slightly to distinctly inclined in its proximal portion, apex long, narrow, more or less parallel-sided with only weakly involute margins, strongly deflexed; lateral sepals diverging at a narrow angle, caudae of lobes greatly attenuated erect, sometimes strongly deflexed to the back of the galea. Petals much shorter than dorsal sepal with acute apices. Labellum narrowly triangular, slightly arched protruding. Column shorter than labellum; stigma narrowly ellipsoid, scarcely distinguished from column and rather flat.

Similar Taxa

Close to P. patens Colenso, from which it differs by the often decumbent or sprawling rather than consistently erect habit, distinctly wider oval to broadly elliptic rather than broadly lanceolate to linear-lanceolate (grassy) leaves; and by the lateral sepals whose caudae though very long are mostly held erect rather than consistently strongly deflexed back and down, sometimes meeting at the back of the galea.


December - January

Flower Colours



January - April

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