Thelymitra media

Tall Sun-orchid

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

Additional information

  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size20-100 cm high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesErect single thick, lance-shaped, channelled, fleshy leaf, often brownish base, to 40 cm x 20 mm, sheathing at base of stem; 2-3 sheathing stem bracts.
  • Flower colourBlue with fine darker stripes
  • Flowering timeOctober to November
  • FlowersDense spike of 2-30 flowers to 30 mm across. Column white with blackish collar, below yellow tip; low yellow mid lobe with warts (calli) at back, 2 columns on sides; column arms long with dense terminal tuft of white hairs.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist heavy mountain soils, tolerating moist clay soils, in open and closed forests, often on disturbed sites. Full sun, semi shade. Flowers only open on very hot days. Flowers prolifically after fires.
  • 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 statusWidespread within the Shire, often common
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
Photographer/s: 1, 3, 5 Marilyn Bull ©; 2, 4 Cathy Powers ©

Plant Communities

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  • 20 Messmate Lowland Forest (EVC 16)
  • 08 Mountain Grey Gum Damp Forest – Dandenongs (EVC 29)
  • 22 Silver-leaf Stringybark Heathy Woodland (EVC 48)
  • 17 Messmate Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 27 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 22)
  • 18 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 45)
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