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Illustration for "Plants of the Gouland Downs and
Perry Pass" ISSN 0375-0108

Original Pencil Drawing:
"Pterostylis banksii"
NZ Orchid.

The Pterostylis orchids form a genus of some 60 species, mainly Australasian but with some found in New Caledonia and New Guinea. They are commonly known as Green Hoods and the Maori name for the New Zealand species is Tutukiwi.

The size of different species varies from about 1in to about 15in in height, and the flowers are generally green, sometimes with a little white or red, and solitary.

These plants are generally quite small, but the impact of finding one of these gems on the forest floor is quite surprising in spite of their size. They have a definite 'presence'.

Maybe this is due to the winged hood of the flower, which is reminiscent of a dinosaur bird, and it seems to have a life of its own.   With their light green coloring they stand out proudly from the litter on the forest floor.

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