Thelymitra pauciflora

Slender Sun-orchid

Perennial herb with fleshy egg-shaped tubers. Plants form massed displays. Flowers frequently remain closed and self-pollinate.

Additional information

  • FamilyOrchidaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size20-50 cm high
  • Plant groupingOrchids
  • LeavesErect single narrow to lance-shaped, channelled, fleshy leaf, often reddish base, to 30 cm x 20 mm, sheathing at base of stem; 2-3 sheathing stem bracts.
  • Flower colourPale blue
  • Flowering timeOctober to November
  • Flowers1-3 flowers to 20 mm across. Sepals and petals similar. Column white to blue with a reddish-brown collar and yellow tip; curved mid lobe with entire to notched hood; column arms short with dense terminal tuft of white hairs.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsWidespread, from moist heavy soils to well drained loams in a wide range of heaths, forest and woodland communities. Full sun, semi shade.
  • 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
  • Aboriginal Use Food - tuber
  • Related speciesThelymitra arenaria is part of the T. pauciflora complex. It has been collected from Mt. Dandenong. Plants are clump-forming, grow 20-40 cm high & have 2-12 purple flowers with darker veins, opening on hot days. The column mid-lobe is brown with a notched yellow tip. Column arms have a brush of white hairs along their length.
Photographer/s: 1, 3 Peter Kinchington ©; 2 Cathy Powers ©

Plant Communities

  • 08 Mountain Grey Gum Damp Forest – Dandenongs (EVC 29)
  • 25 Long-leaf Box Grassy Dry Forest - Southern Dandenongs (EVC 22)
  • 17 Messmate Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 26 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Middle Yarra (EVC 22)
  • 18 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 45)
  • 27 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 22)
  • 21 Broad-leaf Peppermint Heathy Dry Forest (EVC 20)
  • 31 Candlebark Grassy Forest (EVC 128)
  • 22 Silver-leaf Stringybark Heathy Woodland (EVC 48)
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