Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Critically Endangered as Pterostylis valida
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pterostylis valida (robust greenhood) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013dz) [Listing Advice].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Pterostylis valida (robust greenhood) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013eb) [Conservation Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the approved conservation advice for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats (21/11/2013).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Draft survey guidelines for Australia's threatened orchids (Department of the Environment, 2013b) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Pterostylis valida.
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (107) (09/09/2011) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2011c) [Legislative Instrument] as Pterostylis valida.
State Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): May 2014 list) as Pterostylis valida
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Extinct (Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria: 2005)
Scientific name Pterostylis valida [64598]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author (Nicholls) D.L.Jones
Infraspecies author  
Reference Muelleria 8(2): 191 (1994).
Other names Pterostylis squamata var. valida [36605]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Pterostylis valida

Common name: Robust Greenhood

Pterostylis valida is a distinctive orchid with small underground tubers. The species is recognised by its stout appearance and large greenish flowers that have narrow, curved lateral sepals with sparsely hairy margins (Backhouse & Jeanes 1995). The leaves are either broad and clustered in a basal rosette or narrow and stem-clasping. There are four to eight oval-shaped leaves, approximately 2 cm long and 1.2 cm wide, with short leaf-stalks. The leaves are sometimes absent at the flowering stage (Backhouse & Jeanes 1995).

There are 2–6 flowers, up to 2 cm long, on short, stout flower-stalks. The flowers are translucent white with green stripes and suffusions. The narrow fleshy labellum (or lip), up to 7 mm long, has several pairs of long marginal hairs and a smooth basal mound (Backhouse & Jeanes 1995). The dorsal sepal and lateral petals curve inwards to form a hood. The fruit are a capsule (Leigh et al. 1984).

The Robust Greenhood is endemic to Victoria where it occurs at Nardoo Hills, 100 km from Bendigo. Nardoo Hills is an 817 ha conservation reserve managed by Bush Heritage Australia (Middleton 2010). The reserve occurs in a broader area of contiguous, largely protected habitat of the Wedderburn area.

Prior to 2009, the species was known only from the type collection, collected in 1941, at Mt Tarrengower near Maldon in central Victoria (130 km north-west of Melbourne) (Jones 1994b).

In the Nardoo Hills reserve, the Robust Greenhood occurs in grassy box woodland (dominated by Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora) and Grey Box (E. microcarpa)) (Foreman 2011). The type location is a rocky, granite slope with shallow pockets of soil in open woodland (Backhouse & Jeanes 1995; Victorian Scientific Advisory Committee 1999).

The Robust Greenhood flowers in October and November (Backhouse & Jeanes 1995; Jones 1994b).

The Robust Greenhood is part of the Pterostylis excelsa complex (Clements 1989) And is distinguished by the narrower green flowers, a narrower labellum tapering towards the tip, fewer marginal hairs and a less developed basal lobe that lacks any hairs (Jones 1994b).

Potential habitat of the Robust Greenhood, outside of Nardoo Hills, is threatened by ploughing, fertiliser and herbicide application, grazing livestock and feral herbivores. The extant population is threatend by weeds and grazing by the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and wallabies (Macropus spp.) (Middleton 2010). Although Nardoo Hills was historically grazed, it was never cultivated (Foreman 2011).

Mitigation measures on Nardoo Hills include stock exclusion and Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and weed control (particularly Patersons Curse (Echium plantagineum)) (Foreman 2011). Populations of the orchid are monitored and surveys of the area have been conducted (Foreman 2011), although results are unavailable.

No threats data available.

Backhouse, G.N. & J.A. Jeanes (1995). The Orchids of Victoria. Carlton: Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Press.

Clements, M.A. (1989). Catalogue of Australian Orchidaceae. In: Australian Orchid Research. 1. Essendon, Victoria: Australian Orchid Foundation.

Foreman, P. (2011). Significant Plant conservation on Bush Heritage reserves - the meaning of the new discovery. Australasian Plant Conservation. 20(1):3-4.

Jones, D.L. (1994b). New species of Orchidaceae from south-eastern Australia. Muelleria. 8(2):177-192.

Leigh, J., R. Boden & J. Briggs (1984). Extinct and Endangered Plants of Australia. Melbourne, Victoria: Macmillan.

Middleton, A. (2010). 'Extinct' orchid found after 70 years . [Online]. Australian Geographic. Available from:

Victorian Scientific Advisory Committee (1999). Robust Greenhood Pterostylis valida: Preliminary Recommendation Report - Supported for listing on Schedule 2: Flora. Flora and fauna guarantee nomination no. 458.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Pterostylis valida in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 20 Sep 2014 23:47:02 +1000.