Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spring Tiny Greenhood starts to flower.

On this plant you can pick your own name to use: 
  • Spring Tiny Greenhood
  • Speculantha vernalis (the "new name")
  • Pterostylis vernalis (the old form of name for a new species, if you follow me).
  • Pterostylis sp. Flat Rock Creek (the name under which it is "listed")
    Speculantha vernalis
What you do need to know is that it is listed as critically endangered under both the Federal EPBC Act and the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act.
For that we can thank David Jones (who originally nominated it under the EPBC Act in 2006) and Alan Stephenson, the ANOS Conservation Officer, resident of Nowra, and my guide on Sunday who nominated the plant for NSW TSCA listing. 

On Sunday, Alan Stephenson and I went out to see if these plants were yet in flower. They had just started to flower, much to my satisfaction.

Neither of those formal websites shows any details of the plant, as both listings are quite recent, and the necessary public information has not yet been produced. But it has been "listed" formally on both sets of legislation. It is reported by Alan, in this ANOS publication as having been listed.
EPBC Act listing advice 9 February 2010.
It is in the group known as Tiny Greenhoods. They were formerly grouped within the name of Pterostylis parviflora.

It differs from the other named species in that group by flowering in springtime and also by forming its leaf rosettes prior to flowering, whereas the other species in this group flower straight out of the ground with no leaves. In those species, the rosettes form when or after the flowers mature. Not so for Speculantha vernalis, as you can see here.
Leaf rosette of  Speculantha vernalis plus flower stem base visible
 Here is the flower seen from the rear.
rear view of  Speculantha vernalis
 Leaf rosettes of this Spring Tiny Greenhood.
This plant has a preference for growing 
on moss beds, 
sometimes on sandy soil under low shrubs, 
or otherwise on sandstone rock shelves.
Spring Tiny Greenhood in situ
  Multiple plants (leaf rosettes and some flowering)
Click to enlarge image
Speculantha vernalis in situ - multiple plants

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