This week’s post is taking a brief look at a paper by Noushka Reiter, Mark Clements and Kate Vlcek which appeared in Muelleria, Volume 31: 69 – 76, 2013.
Titled “An examination of Pterostylis xerophila (Orchidaceae) and the confirmation of P. lingua as a new species in Victoria” this paper seeks to ascertain whether the records collected are correctly identified, that there are differences between them both in morphology and associated vegetation.
Both P. xerophila and P. lingua are found in South Australia where they are known, respectively, by the synonyms Oligochaetochilus xerophilus and O. linguus. In fact the type specimen for O. xerophilus is from South Australia.
In the introduction, the authors give a detailed description of Oligochaetochilus otherwise known as the ‘rufa group’ which differs from Pterostylis, in the strict sense, in several features. Some of the main features of this group are:
- Basal rosette of overlapping stemless leaves
- Leaves senesced, withered and died, by flowering
- Erect multi-flowered
- Lateral sepals
- hang down
- basal half joined
- tips become long and threadlike
- is very mobile
- has obvious long white hairs and often short hairs as well
- Lateral sepals
Later in the articles, the differences between the two species are discussed. There is much of interest concerning the two species but one outcome of the research was to establish that P. lingua (O. linguus) had been incorrectly identified in the records and by correcting the names of the specimens the authors were able to confirm that it did occur in Victoria.
To find the answer to the authors other questions, read the paper
And for those that need a glossary of the terminology used, click here
For images of P. xerophila (O. xerophilus) click here
For images of P. lingua (O. linguus) click here