If you are out and about this week, keep an eye out for this attractive and unusual greenhood with its bottle brush labellum and rosette of “pineapple” like leaves.
Commonly known as Woodland Plumed or Bearded Greenhood, or Plumatochilos sp. Woodland Bearded Greenhood. The reason for the phrase name is because many consider that it is a separate species, in this instance, from Plumatochilos plumosum (syn Pterostylis plumosa). Originally all of the Bearded Greenhood were considered as one species – Pterostylis barbata but then Leo Cady named Pterostylis plumosa as a separate species. David Jones in his 2006 tome listed four species, P. barbatum, P plumosum, P. tasmanicum and P. turfosum.
Here in South Australia, Bates lists P. tasmanicum and two with phrase names suggesting that they are distinct from P. plumosum.
Peter Fehre recently posted on the Tasmanian Native Orchids Facebook page some helpful hints differentiating between P. tasmanicum and P. plumosum. Very similar information is found in Bates South Australia’s Native Orchids. These differences are:
P. tasmanicum – a short plant: short flower stem (not more than 14 cms), short labellum (to 15mm) , short ovary; short blunted galea (hood) to 25mm. It prefers damp, sandy areas and swamp margins.
P. plumosum – has length; long flower stem (10 – 30 cm), galea to 40mm with a long tip, long labellum (to 25mm). It is a plant of the woodlands and forests growing on well drained soil.
The differences between the two phrase named species are more subtle
R J Bates, 2011, South Australia’s Native Orchids DVD, NOSSA
D L Jones , 2006, A Complete Guide to Native Orchids of Australia