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Species profile—Pterostylis cobarensis


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → OrchidaceaePterostylis cobarensis

Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Pterostylis cobarensis M.A.Clem.
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Pterostylis cobarensis, is a terrestrial orchid with 7 to 11 narrow-elliptic leaves which form a basal rosette, each 1.5 to 2.5 cm long and 5 to 8 mm wide. The scape grows to 40 cm high, with 3 to 5 closely sheathing stem leaves. There are 3 to 8 flowers. Flowers are 1.2 cm long, semi-erect, transparent with brown and green markings and suffusions. The dorsal sepal is upcurved filiform point 12 to 13 mm long. The lateral sepals are elliptic in outline when flattened, 8 to 9mm long by 5 to 6 mm wide with incurved margins, and densely ciliate. The petals have a well-developed proximal flange that nearly blocks off the base of the galea. The labellum is narrow-ovate, 5 to 5.5 mm long by 2 to 2.3 mm wide, brown, distal half covered with shorter, appressed trichomes. There are 6 to 8 marginal trichomes which are 0.3mm long, white and spreading. The basal lobe is prominently raised with 8 to 10 pairs of white trichomes. The plants are deciduous and die back to the large, underground tubers after seed release. New rosettes are produced following soaking autumn and winter rains (Jones, 1993; DSEWPC, 2012).
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Pterostylis cobarensis inhabits eucalypt woodland, open mallee, or Callitris shrubland on low stony ridges and slopes with skeletal sandy-loam soils. Associated species include Eucalyptus morrisii, E. viridis, E. intertexta, E. vicina, Callitris glaucophylla, Geijera parviflora, Casuarina cristata, Acacia doratoxylon, Senna spp., and Eremophila spp. (DESWPC, 2012; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Pterostylis cobarensis flowers September to November. Vegetative reproduction is not common in this group of Greenhoods, but some species may form more than one daughter tuber annually. Plants are deciduous and die back to the large, underground tubers after seed release. New rosettes are produced following soaking autumn and winter rains. Pterostylis cobarensis is pollinated by the males of small gnats which are attracted to the flower by some pseudosexual perfume (DSEWPC, 2012).
Threatening processes
The main identified threats to Pterostylis cobarensis are damage caused by feral goats (Capra hircus); broad-scale vegetation clearing; grazing pressure; changed hydrology increasing salinity; fragmentation; and loss of remnants. The main potential threats to the species include habitat degradation (granite ridge and rocky slope habitat are particularly vulnerable to erosion caused by feral goats); and weed invasion (DSEWPC, 2012).
Management recommendations
Regional and local priority actions to support the recovery of Pterostylis cobarensis are outlined by DSEWPC (2012). A summary of these include: avoid habitat loss, disturbance and modification (e.g. monitor known populations to identify key threats, minimise adverse impacts from land use at known sites; monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and the need to adapt them if necessary; identify populations of high conservation priority); increase conservation information (raise awareness of Pterostylis cobarensis in the local community by distributing information regarding the species, its threats and management actions to assist in the location and protection of further populations.); and enable recovery of additional sites and/or populations (e.g. collect seed and soil/mycorrhizal fungi for NSW seedbank; investigate options for linking, enhancing or establishing additional populations).
Oligochaetochilus cobarensis is a synonym.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2012). Pterostylis cobarensis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Accessed 26/06/2012.
Jones, D.L. (1993). Pterostylis In Harden, G.J. (Ed.) Flora of New South Wales, Vol. 4, University of New South Wales Press: Sydney.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 26/06/2012.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (26/06/2012)

Other resources

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
20 May 2024