Nature conservation

Threatened species

Pterostylis ventricosa - profile

Indicative distribution

   Loading map...
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Pterostylis ventricosa
Conservation status in NSW: Critically Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 08 Jul 2011
Profile last updated: 17 Sep 2019


Pterostylis ventricosa is a perennial terrestrial orchid. The 8-30 cm tall flowering stem emerges from an underground tuber and produces 1 to 6 flowers at the top each year. The flowers are between 10-13 mm long and 4.5-5.5 mm wide. They are quite bulbous and greener at the base merging to bright red-brown at the flower tips. A leaf rosette of 4 to 9, 3-12 mm long, dark green leaves emerges around the same time as the flowering stem.


Pterostylis ventricosa is known from populations at St Georges Basin, Sussex Inlet and west of Nowra in the Shoalhaven and also near Tallong and Mittagong in the Southern Highlands. Surveys carried out at various times between 2007 to 2010 estimate a total population of about 1,200 plants. The two largest populations, one at St Georges Basin and one at Sussex Inlet, are located on estates of private land. Two smaller populations, comprising a total of less than 10% of the known plants, are within Conjola National Park. 

Habitat and ecology

  • Predominantly in more open areas of tall coastal eucalypt forest often dominated by one or more of the following tree species:- Terpentine, Spotted Gum, Grey Ironbark, Blackbutt, White Stringybark, Scribbly Gum and Sydney Peppermint.
  • Often favours more open areas such as along powerline easements and on road verges where the tree overstorey has been removed or thinned.
  • Grows in a range of groundcover types, including moderately dense low heath, open sedges and grasses, leaf litter, and mosses on outcropping rock. Small moss gardens are a commonly associated micro-habitat feature in most habitats.
  • Soil type ranges from moisture-retentive grey silty loams to grey sandy loams.
  • Sometimes found in skeletal soils on sandstone rock shelves.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Known None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinEttrema Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Known None