Aporostylis bifolia


Aporostylis: perplexing style
bifolia: From Latin 'bis' and 'folius', meaning two leaves

Common Name(s)

Odd-leaved orchid

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


Aporostylis bifolia (Hook.f.) Rupp et Hatch



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



Caladenia ?bifolia Hook.f.; Chiloglottis traversii F.Muell.; Caladenia macrophylla Col.; Chiloglottis bifolia (Hook.f.) Schlechter


Endemic monotypic New Zealand genus. Known from the North, South, Stewart, Chatham, Auckland, Campbell and Antipodes Islands. In the North Island present from Te Moehau south. Widespread elsewhere.


Initially subalpine to high monatne but descending to lowland and coastal habitats in southern half of range. A species of bogs, seepages and damp open ground, shrubland, tussock grassland or forest. Often found in plantation foresty, particularly under pines.


Stocky, glandular-pubescent, terrestrial, perennial spring to summer-green, tuberous herb. Tubers globose-conical. Plant at flowering up to 200 mm tall. Stem erect, slender, densely glandular-pubescent, green to reddish-green. Leaves near stem base, close to ground, paired, close-set, dark green to green, usually brown or purple spotted, densely to sparsely covered in glandular pubescent hairs, these forming an obvious marginal fringe; lower leaf 100-200 mm long, the upper leaf usually conspicuously shorter; lamina broadly ovate-oblong, broadly oblong, broadly lanceolate, elliptic, rarely linear-lanceolate. Flower usually solitary, rarely paired, subtended by a partially sheathing floral bract; bract partially enclosing ovary. Perianth up to 250 mm diameter, white or pink, glandular-pubescent. Sepals more or less externally glandular-pubescent; dorsal sepal upper most, shallowly concave, wider than laterals, slightly arched over column, lateral sepals similar to petals, linear-lanceolate, wide-spreading. Petals similar but slightly shorter. Labellum sessile, simple, orbicular-obovate broadly expanded with narrower base, margins entire; calli near base, linear to linear-elliptic, yellow, in two median more or less longitudinal rows. Column elongate, erect to slightly curved, column-wings fused in front of base, narrow to level of stigma, there wider and extending upwards as small, sharply pointed lobes, one either side of anther. Anther terminal, apiculate, papillose, pollinia two per cell, pollen finely granular. Stigma discoid, rostellum median.

Similar Taxa

Most likely to be confused with species of Petalochilus Rogers (Caladenia R.Br.) and Myrmichelia D.L.Jones et M.A.Clem. and Simpliglottis Szlach. (both formerly Chiloglottis R.Br.) on account of its broad shortly petiolate leaves. From Petalochilus it differs by its two rather than usually one, broadly ovate-oblong rather than linear or linear-lanceolate, green usually brown or purple-spotted, rather than uniformly green to reddish-green leaves. From Simpliglottis and Myrmechila it differs by its glandular hairy leaves and flowers with white sepals and petals.


October - March

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White


December - May

Propagation Technique

Difficult - should not be removed from the wild


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 40

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Minute seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not commercially available


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.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 10 May 2014