Seeds of South Australia
Pterostylis psammophila (Orchidaceae)
Two-bristle Greenhood
List of species for Pterostylis
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
October to December
Herbarium region:
Southern Lofty
NRM region:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
IBRA region
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); D)   (Probable Decline)   [only 2 sites known: Sandy Creek & Altona; <250 plants]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Pterostylis]
Name derivation:
Pterostylis from the Greek ‘pteron’ meaning a wing and ‘stylis’ meaning a style or column; referring to the prominent wings found at the top of the column in all species. Psammophila from the Greek 'psammos' meaning sand and 'philos' meaning love; referring to the plant's affinity for sandy soil.
Endemic to South Australia and found only in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, growing on deep white sand in Callitris and broombush shrub-land.
Native. Very rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
A deciduous perennial orchid with a single underground tuber from which the leaves and flowers emerge annually. Leaves to 5 cm long with serrated margins in a ground hugging basal rosette of six to 16 ovate overlapping leaves, often partly covered with loose sand. Inflorescence a short and stocky spike to 15 cm high with green or translucent white flowers that quickly senesce. Flowering between August and September.
Fruit type:
Brown papery ellipsoid capsule.
Seed collecting:
Collect fat capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the seeds. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place or in liquid nitrogen.