Thelymitra antennifera

Rabbit's Ears, Vanilla Orchid

Perennial herb with fleshy egg-shaped tubers. Plants form massed displays.

Additional information

  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size10-25 cm high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesErect single narrow to rounded channelled leaf 5-19 cm x 1-4 mm, dark green with reddish base, sheathing at base of stem; 1-2 sheathing stem bracts.
  • Flower colourBright yellow, reddish brown on outside
  • Flowering timeSeptember to November
  • Flowers1-3 lemon-scented flowers to 35 mm across. Sepals and petals similar. Column white with long erect dark brown column arms, 2-lobed, tips spreading. Anther orange.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist well drained soils from heavy clays to gravel. Full sun, semi shade. Flowers open freely on warm days. Flowers well after fire.
  • Garden useUse of orchids in gardens is not recommended, unless they already occur naturally, in which case they need to be protected. Removing orchids from the bush usually results in their death and further depletes remaining wild orchid populations.
  • Commercially availableRarely
  • Conservation statusSignificant within the Shire. Known from very few local sites.
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
  • Related speciesThelymitra x macmillanii is a natural hybrid between T. antennifera and Thelymitra nuda. It occurs in one site in the Shire. It has 1-6 pink to crimson flowers with a pink to crimson column, short, narrow, toothed mid-lobe and yellow to reddish column arms densely covered in small warts.
Photographer/s: 1 Chris Clarke NatureShare ©; 2 Barry Sheffield ©; 3 Cathy Powers ©; 4 Neil Blair, Royal Botanic Gardens Board ©

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