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Pterostylis stenochila facts for kids

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Narrow-lip leafy greenhood
Bunochilus melagrammus (syn Pterostylis melagramma).jpg
Scientific classification
  • Oligochaetochilus stenochilos (D.L.Jones) Szlach.
  • Bunochilus stenochilus (D.L.Jones) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.

Pterostylis stenochila, commonly known as the narrow-lip leafy greenhood, is a plant in the orchid family Orchidaceae and is endemic to Tasmania. Flowering plants have up to seven shiny, transparent green flowers with darker green stripes. The flowers have an insect-like labellum which is green with an emerald green stripe along its centre. Non-flowering plants have a rosette of leaves on a stalk, but flowering plants lack the rosette, instead having five or six stem leaves.

Pterostylis stenochila setting seeds
Pterostylis stenochila setting seeds


Pterostylis stenochila, is a terrestrial, perennial, deciduous, herb with an underground tuber. Non-flowering plants have a rosette of between three and five lance-shaped to egg-shaped leaves, each leaf 20–40 mm (0.8–2 in) long and 6–8 mm (0.2–0.3 in) wide on a stalk 30–50 mm (1–2 in) tall. Flowering plants have up to seven transparent green flowers with darker green stripes on a flowering spike 120–300 mm (5–10 in) high. The flowering spike has five or six lance-shaped to egg-shaped stem leaves which are 15–50 mm (0.6–2 in) long and 5–9 mm (0.2–0.4 in) wide. The dorsal sepal and petals are fused, forming a hood or "galea" over the column with the dorsal sepal having a short point on its tip. The petals have a wide, transparent flange on their outer edges. The lateral sepals turn downwards, 10–13 mm (0.4–0.5 in) long, about 5 mm (0.2 in) wide and joined for part of their length. The labellum is insect-like, 6–7 mm (0.2–0.3 in) long, about 2 mm (0.08 in) wide, with an emerald green stripe along it centre and a mound on the "head" end. Flowering occurs from July to September.

Taxonomy and naming

Pterostylis stenochila was first formally described in 1998 by David Jones and the description was published in Muelleria from a specimen collected at Brooks Bay near Geeveston. The specific epithet (stenochila) is derived from the Ancient Greek words stenos meaning "narrow" and cheilos meaning "lip", referring to the narrow labellum.

Distribution and habitat

The narrow-lip leafy greenhood grows in heathy forest at altitudes of up to 300 m (1,000 ft).

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