The Tall Greenhood Pterostylis longifolia is one of 16 local species of Greenhoods. Worldwide there are 120 species with about 100 of these endemic to Australia.
Along with other Greenhoods, this one lures insects, usually gnats, to the plant with pheromones. When the insect touches the lower lip of the orchid (labellum) it flings the insect back into the hood and closes over it. The movement of the insect as it attempts to escape assists in the pollination process. Once the insect escapes the ‘trap’ is reset.
Tall Greenhoods are one of the earliest species of Greenhoods to flower in this area. They are characterised by long leaves and multiple flowers on each stem. As with other Greenhoods the flowers are translucent which is thought to encourage trapped insects to move towards the light.
To view several other types of Greenhoods have a look at our FOBIF Flickr Gallery.