Vascular – Native
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.
2n = 44
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. North and South Islands. In the North Island known from the Central Volcanic Plateau and Mt Taranaki/Egmont, in the South Island in the west from north-west Nelson to about the Buller River
Montane to subalpine in beech (Nothofagus Blume) forest and subalpine scrub. Often in deep drifts of leaf litter, or amongst mosses. Sometimes on bear ground or growing at the base of boulders.
Terrestrial, tuberous, glabrous, spring to summer-green perennial herb, forming colonies through vegetative extension. Plant at flowering 45-50(-150) mm tall. Stem erect, smooth, dark green, to blue-green, immersed within a loose basal rosette of leaves until the fruiting ovary elongates the stem. Leaves erect to somewhat spreading, 3-4, margins entire, though usually undulose in the basal third, overtopping the flower; lamina 40-90 x 15-25 mm, dark green to blue-green, broadly elliptic to oblong, apex obtuse to broadly subacute, base gradually narrowing into a broadly winged sheathing petiole. Flower solitary, erect, dark green, white striped. Ovary mostly erect. Dorsal sepal 20 mm tall, erect then horizontal; apex shortly acuminate; lateral sepals diverging at a narrow angle, initially erect, apex acuminate to shortly caudate, overtopping galea. Petals almost as long as dorsal sepal, broad almost to apex. Labellum elliptic, shortly recurved, cucullate, scarcely protruding, apex acute, glabrous. Column slightly shorter than labellum; stigma prominent, broadly cordate, upward facing
Manaaki Whenua Online Interactive Key
Very close to P. venosa Colenso from which it differs by the prominent, upturned, heart-shaped, stigma, which is little longer than wide, and by the glabrous labellum surface.
November - January
December - March
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 but not very common either. May qualify for listing as Sparse.
pterostylis: Winged column
humilis: Lowest, dwarf, small, slight
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.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Pterostylis humilis Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/pterostylis-humilis/ (Date website was queried)