Pterostylis coccina

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Scarlet greenhood
Pterostylis coccinea 270903.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Diurideae
Subtribe: Pterostylidinae
Genus: Pterostylis
Species: P. coccinea
Binomial name
Pterostylis coccina

Pterostylis coccina, commonly known as the scarlet greenhood, is a species of orchid endemic to eastern Australia. As with similar greenhoods, the flowering plants differ from those which are not flowering. The non-flowering plants have a rosette of leaves flat on the ground but the flowering plants have a single flower with leaves on the flowering spike. In this species, the rosette leaves are relatively large and dark green, and the flowers are white, and bluish-green or red. It grows in New South Wales and north-eastern Victoria.


Pterostylis coccina is a terrestrial, perennial, deciduous, herb with an underground tuber and when not flowering, a rosette of two to five egg-shaped, flat, dark green leaves, each leaf 15-30 mm long and 10-15 mm wide. Flowering plants have a single flower 40-50 mm long and 16-19 mm wide borne on a spike 80-220 mm high with between three and five stem leaves. The flowers are white and bluish-green or white and red and lean forwards. The dorsal sepal and petals are fused, forming a hood or "galea" over the column. The dorsal sepal curves forward with a thread-like tip 12-16 mm long. The lateral sepals are held closely against the galea, have erect, thread-like tips 35-45 mm long and a relatively flat, slightly protruding sinus between their bases. The labellum is 20-25 mm long, about 4 mm wide, reddish-brown, blunt, and curved and protrudes beyond the sinus. Flowering occurs from January to April.[2][3][4]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

Pterostylis coccina was first formally described in 1878 by Robert FitzGerald and the description was published in Fitzgerald's book, Australian Orchids.[1] The specific epithet (coccina) is a Latin word meaning "red like a berry" or "scarlet".[5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The scarlet greenhood grows in grassy forest on the higher areas of New South Wales south from Mount Kaputar to north-eastern Victoria.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ a b c "Pterostylis coccina". APNI. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Jones, David L. (2006). A complete guide to native orchids of Australia including the island territories. Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: New Holland. pp. 294–295. ISBN 1877069124. 
  3. ^ a b Jones, David L. "Pterostylis coccina". Royal Botanic Garden Sydney: plantnet. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Jeanes, Jeff. "Pterostylis coccina". Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria: vicflora. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  5. ^ Brown, Roland Wilbur (1956). The Composition of Scientific Words. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 650. 

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