Thelymitra alpicola Jeanes

Muelleria 30: 18 (2012) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: vulnerable (v)

Flowering stem erect, straight, 15–50 cm tall, 1–3.7 mm diam., straw-coloured to purplish. Leaf linear to linear-lanceolate, attenuate, 6–25 cm long, 4–13 mm wide, fleshy to leathery, canaliculate to conduplicate, ribbed abaxially, sheathing at base, dark green with a purplish base. Inflorescence 1–6-flowered, open. Sterile bracts usually 2, rarely 1 or 3. Perianth segments lanceolate to ovate, 8–14(–16) mm long, deep purplish blue with darker longitudinal striations, opening freely on warm days. Column slender, 4.6–6.5 mm long, purplish; mid-lobe slightly hooding the anther, often bilobed, margin irregular, sometimes with a central tooth, somewhat sinuate, dorsal surface rugulose, reddish brown to almost black, apex yellow or pinkish; lateral lobes parallel or weakly incurved at apices, 1–2.2 mm long, fleshy, obliquely erect or porrect, pink or brownish at base, faces smooth, margins often shallowly and irrugularly erose, apex cream to yellow. Anther inserted towards apex of column, with a prominent entire or emarginate beak. Flowers Oct.–Jan.

EGU, MonT, SnM, Strz. Also NSW. Grows in alpine, sub-alpine and montane heathlands, in moist areas around the edges of sphagnum bogs, beside streams or in soaks and swamps. Soils are generally dark sandy, clayey or peaty loams.

The population in the Strzelecki Ranges Victoria is noteworthy for its disjunction and low altitude.

Thelymitra alpicola can be distinguished from T. incurva by its deep purplish blue, strongly striated perianth and more or less parallel (sometimes incurved at apices), often narrow, shallowly erose, lateral lobes on the column. The two species also frequent different habitats.

Created by: Jeff Jeanes, 2014-09-11
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-15
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Thelymitra
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Thelymitra alpicola in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Thelymitra alpicola in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales