Spotted sun orchid Thelymitra ixioides, copyright Philip Bouchard.

Belongs within: Orchidoideae.

Thelymitra, sun orchids, is a mostly Australasian genus of terrestrial orchids bearing regular flowers with petals similar to sepals.

Characters (from Moore & Edgar 1970): Plants terrestrial, glabrous; tubers ovoid, new one produced at base of parent plant. Leaf solitary, sheathing at base, linear to lanceolate, often thick and fleshy; cauline bracts 1 or 2, foliaceous. Raceme of few to about twenty flowers, sometimes reduced to one; floral bracts large, usually exceeding ovary. Perianth glabrous, opening widely in sun; dorsal sepal uppermost, similar to lateral sepals and to petals. Labellum similar to petals and sepals though sometimes differing in shape. Column short, erect; wings joined in front at base and variously lobed and ornamented at sides and often behind anther; anther more or less erect, usually partly or wholly hidden by wings, connective often produced into a short point, pollinia 2 per cell, pollen finely granular; stigma broad, flat, more or less bilobed above, usually overlapping base of anther; rostellum small and narrow.

<==Thelymitra Forster & Forster 1776 [Thelymitreae, Thelymytroideae]ME70
    |--T. sect. CucullariaC06
    |    |--*T. longifolia Forster & Forster 1776ME70, C06, ME70 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--T. intermedia Berggren 1878C06, ME70 [=T. longifolia var. intermedia (Berggren) Hatch 1952ME70]
    |    |--T. ixioides Swartz 1800C06, ME70 [incl. T. aemula Cheesem. 1919ME70]
    |    `--T. pauciflora Brown 1810 (see below for synonymy)ME70
    |--T. (sect. Biaurella) venosa Br. 1810C06, ME70 (see below for synonymy)
    `--T. sect. MacdonaldiaC06
         |--T. carnea Br. 1810 [incl. T. imberbis Hook. f. 1853, T. carnea var. imberbis (Hook. f.) Rupp & Hatch 1946]ME70
         `--T. pulchella Hook. f. 1853C06, ME70 (see below for synonymy)
Thelymitra incertae sedis:
  T. antenniferaOS04
  T. aristata Lindl. 1840ME70
  T. benthamianaGK00
  T. circumsepta Fitz. 1878ME70
  T. crinitaOS04
  T. cucullataGK00
  T. decora Cheeseman 1906ME70
  T. dentata Moore 1969ME70
  T. epipactoidesKIW98
  T. flexuosaGK00
  T. formosa Col. 1884 [incl. T. media var. carneo-lutea Nicholls 1943]ME70
  T. fuscoluteaGK00
  T. hatchii Moore 1969ME70
  T. macrophyllumG04
  T. matthewsii Cheesem. 1911 [incl. T. daltonii Rogers 1930]ME70
  T. mediaC08
  T. megcalyptra Fitzgerald 1871H86
  T. nervosa Colenso 1888 (n. d.)ME70
  T. nuda Brown 1810ME70
  T. truncata Rogers 1917ME70

*Thelymitra longifolia Forster & Forster 1776ME70, C06, ME70 [incl. T. alba Col. 1886ME70, T. longifolia var. alba (Col.) Cheesem. 1925ME70, T. cornuta Col. 1888ME70, T. forsteri Swartz 1800ME70, T. nemoralis Col. 1885ME70, T. purpureo-fusca Col. 1885ME70, Serapias regularis Banks & Sol. ex Forst. f. 1786ME70, T. stenopetala Hook. f. 1844ME70]

Thelymitra pauciflora Brown 1810 [incl. T. colensoi Hook. f. 1864, T. cornuta Col. 1888, T. scanscilia Irwin ex Hatch 1952]ME70

Thelymitra pulchella Hook. f. 1853C06, ME70 [incl. T. caesia Petrie 1919ME70, T. concinna Col. 1888ME70, T. fimbriata Col. 1890ME70, T. pachyphylla Cheeseman 1906ME70]

Thelymitra venosa Br. 1810 [incl. T. venosa var. cedricsmithii Hatch 1952, Macdonaldia cyanea Lindl. 1840, T. cyanea (Lindl.) Benth. 1873, T. venosa var. cyanea (Lindl.) Hatch 1952, T. uniflora Hook. f. 1844]ME70

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C08] Cambage, R. H. 1908. Notes on the native flora of New South Wales. Part VI. Deepwater to Torrington and Emmaville. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 33 (1): 45–65, pls 1–2.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[G04] Gibson, N. 2004. Flora and vegetation of the Eastern Goldfields Ranges: part 7. Middle and South Ironcap, Digger Rock and Hatter Hill. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (2): 49–62.

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323–402.

[H86] Hamilton, A. G. 1886. List of the Orchideae of the Mudgee district. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (3): 865–878.

[KIW98] Kearns, C. A., D. W. Inouye & N. M. Waser. 1998. Endangered mutualisms: the conservation of plant-pollinator interactions. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 29: 83–112.

[ME70] Moore, L. B., & E. Edgar. 1970. Flora of New Zealand vol. 2. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Monocotyledones except Gramineae. A. R. Shearer, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[OS04] Obbens, F. J., & L. W. Sage. 2004. Vegetation and flora of a diverse upland remnant of the Western Australian wheatbelt (Nature Reserve A21064). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (1): 19–28.

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