Pterostylis puberula


Pterostylis: winged column
puberula: With tiny hairs

Common Name(s)

dwarf greenhood

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Threatened - Nationally Vulnerable

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 - Threatened - Nationally Critical
2004 - Threatened - Nationally Critical


2012 - DP, EF, Sp
2009 - EF, Sp


Pterostylis puberula Hook.f.



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



Pterostylis nana R.Br., Pterostylis nana auct. non. R.Br.; Rupp; Linguella puberula (Hook.f.) D.L.Jones, M.A.Clem. et Molloy


Endemic. Three Kings Islands, North Island from Te Paki to Hamilton Basin (Waikato) and southern Coromandel Peninsula, thence disjunct to Wellington (Taita Hills and near Eastbourne); South Island, North West Nelson, near Westhaven. Since 1990 it has been reported only from Great Island in the Three Kings, on the Surville Cliffs (Te Paki) and from the Kauaeranga Valley, near Thames.


Coastal to lowland on clay banks beneath light scrub (especially kahikatoa Leptospermum scoparium) and gumland.


Slender orchid up to 200 mm tall, stem and foliage often somewhat chlorotic. Stem pale silvery-green to pale yellow-green, covered in minute, harsh tubercules, distinctly though irregularly, puberulent. Rosette leaves, numerous, appressed; petiole distinctly though narrowly winged, 5-7 mm long; lamina 7 x 5 mm, silvery-green to pale yellow-green, ovate, acute. Cauline leaves, sparse, similar, sheathing. Flower solitary, silvery-white, striped green to pale green, set well above nearest bract. Dorsal sepal 10-15 mm, erect for 2/3 of length, then almost horizontal, apex obtuse to shortly acute; lateral sepals fused, diverging widely, U-shaped in front view, then sharply contracted into long, slender, erect, filamentous caudae, these slightly clavate toward apex; caudae set well above galea. Petals = or longer than dorsal sepal sepal, subacute. Labellum oblong. Column longer than labellum; stigma long-oval, prominent.

Similar Taxa

The silvery-green to pale yellow-green, often somewhat chlorotic appearance, compact, tightly appressed rosette leaves, distinctly though minutely harshly tuberculate and irregularly puberulent stem, largely devoid of cauline leaves, blunt-ended dorsal sepal, and filamentous, slightly clavate caudae set this species apart from all other New Zealand green hoods.


September – December

Flower Colours



September – January

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild


Habitat loss and degradation through weed encroachment, natural regeneration of forest species, and pig rooting are the main threats. Also, over-collection by botanists and orchid enthusiasts has occurred in the past.

Chromosome No.

2n = (48), 50

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not available.


Jane et al. (2010) following a thorough rDNA (ITS) based analysis of the segregate genera erected for Pterostylis R.Br. by Szlachekto (2001) and Jones et al. (2002) found no support to continue their recognition. This view in the process of being adopted by the Australian Plants Names Index is followed here. Accordingly Linguella is treated as Pterostylis. Further, the claim to specific status for the New Zealand plant, which has variously been treated as conspecific with the Australian P. nana or as a distinct endemic P. puberula needs further critical evaluation. Pending further study P. puberula is retained for now as a distinct New Zealand endemic.


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 31 August 2006. Description based on de Lange et al. (2007).

References and further reading

de Lange, P.; Rolfe, J. St George, I. Sawyer J. 2007: Wild orchids of the lower North Island. Department of Conservation, Wellington. 194pp.

Janes, J.K.; Dorothy A. S.; Vaillancourt, R.E.; Duretto, M.F. 2010: A new classification for subtribe Pterostylidinae (Orchidaceae), reaffirming Pterostylis in the broad senseAustralian Systematic Botany 23: 260–269

Jones, D.L.; Clements, M.A.; Molloy, B.P.J 2002: A Synopsis of the Subtribe Pterostylidinae. Australian Orchid Research 4: 129-146.

Szlachekto, D.L. 2001: Genera et Species Orchidalium 1. Polish Botanical Journal 46: 11-26

This page last updated on 13 Nov 2014