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With very little to report over the dry summer months apart from some Flying Duck Orchids Caleana major and a few weak Rosy Hyacinth Orchids Dipodium roseum that managed to escape kangaroos searching for food, it is a good chance to catch up on orchid news wider afield.

In August last year we were very pleased to hear that one of our local orchids, Brown Tipped Greenhood, sometimes known as Red-tip Greenhood Pterostylis sp. aff. parviflora (Southern Victoria), has been described by David Jones in the Australian Orchid Review August-September 2015 as a new species. It is now known as Pterostylis clivosa, or as some orchid experts refer to it, Speculantha clivosa.

Pterostylis clivosa
Pterostylis clivosa

Although classified as rare in the Herbarium on-line census, Pterostylis clivosa is common at Anglesea and often occurs with the Tiny Greenhood P. parviflora. The meaning of the specific name clivosa is from the Latin clivosus, hilly, in reference to the species’ hilly habitats. This is not always typical of the species in the Anglesea district as it is often found growing in low-lying heathland.

P. clivosa grows to 30cm tall and usually has more than two, tiny flowers with green and white striped petals and sepals with brown-red tips. The flowers face inwards on the stem. It is easily distinguished from the Tiny Greenhood P. parviflora by the brown markings on the flowers.

The Brown Tipped Greenhood flowers from April to June, so we are desperately hoping for some early autumn rains to encourage the orchids’ growth so we can welcome this new species to the Anglesea district.

Early autumn is also the time to start looking for our Midge Orchids Corunastylis sp., Parson’s Bands Eriochilus cucullatus and of course the Tiny Greenhood Pterostylis parviflora.

Here’s hoping for a successful 2016 orchid year.

Photos and descriptions of all of these orchids are documented in Orchids of the Anglesea District available from Angair.

Margaret MacDonald