Pterygodium is a genus in the Orchidaceae family mostly found in the southwest Cape of South Africa. These are terrestrial orchids with a very shallow hood.
Pterygodium catholicum is a widespread species that occurs from the Bokkeveld Mountains to Port Elizabeth. Growing up to 30 cm, this species has greenish yellow flowers fading to orange-red. It grows in seasonally moist sandy soils and blooms in spring. Photos taken by Bob Rutemoeller at Bontebok National Park and by Mary Sue Ittner at Tulbagh.
Pterygodium pentherianum is found on clay soils in renosterveld in the northwest Cape. Growing to 15 cm, it has greenish white sweetly scented flowers. Flowers are shallowly hooded. Photos taken by Mary Sue Ittner near Nieuwoudtville in the Bokkeveld Plateau September 2006 of what we thought was this species, but might be Pterygodium schelpei.
Pterygodium schelpei is found on sheltered sites on clay soils in renosterveld in the Bokkeveld Mountains and the Karoo. It grows to 15 cm. The strongly scented flowers are greenish white with the lowermost lip mask-shaped and the upper tepals parasol-like. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster near Nieuwoudtville September 2011.