Northampton midget greenhood (Pterostylis sp. Northampton) interim recovery plan 2004-2009
Robyn Luu, Alanna Chant and Val English
Wildlife Management Program No. 171
Department of Conservation and Land Management, July 2004
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About the document
Pterostylis sp. Northampton was discovered in 1978 by Stan Finck, a Victorian orchid enthusiast. The original locations are now recorded as Populations 1 and 2. No further populations were located until 1990, when A. Brown discovered another population on an unnamed road north of Population 1, but this area was mostly cleared in 1994. Population 4 was located in 1996 on a Shire reserve in Northampton, also by A. Brown. The species is currently known from five populations totalling approximately 44 plants. No plants were recorded in two of the populations during the most recent monitoring period.
An Interim Recovery Plan was developed for the species in 2000 (Phillimore et al. 2000). Information accumulated since that plan was completed has been incorporated into this plan and this document now replaces Phillimore et al. (2000).
Pterostylis sp. Northampton (S.D.Hopper 3349) is a small tuberous herb 5-10 centimetres tall. The flower spike emerges from a basal rosette of leaves and bears between two and twenty pale green 'greenhood' flowers, each of which are approximately 5 by 5 mm in size (Hoffman and Brown 1998). Flowering occurs over a period of approximately three weeks from August to early September, with seed maturing between October and November. Plants are found in clumps or as solitary individuals. As is usual with the genus Pterostylis, plants become dormant after fruiting. Underground tuberoids continue the life cycle after an annual period of dormancy.
Pterostylis sp. Northampton has affinities with P. cycnocephala which occurs in eastern Australia and P. mutica (midget greenhood). P. mutica is found in semi-arid zones near Southern Cross and extends across the southern edge of the Nullarbor Plain into eastern Australia. P. sp. Northampton differs from P. mutica in that it is paler in colour, has forward-projecting labellum appendages and wavy-margined leaves (Hoffman and Brown 1998).