Thelymitra rubra W.Fitzg.

Salmon Sun-orchid

Gard. Chron., new ser., 17: 495 (1882) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering stem erect, straight to flexuose at leaf and bract insertions, 10–40 cm tall, 0.5–2 mm diam., green or pink to reddish. Leaf linear-lanceolate to filiform, 10–20 cm long, 1–2.5 mm wide, channelled or conduplicate, green or sometimes purplish. Inflorescence 1–5-flowered. Sterile bracts 2. Perianth segments ovate, 6–14 mm long, salmon-pink or other pink hues; sepals distinctly mucronate. Column ovoid, 4–6 mm long, sides cream-pink or mauve, with black, red or orange band below the crest; mid-lobe c. 1.6 mm long, yellow, fleshy, arched over basal part of anther, resembling hood-like crest, densely and irregularly toothed, often bluntly notched in middle; lateral lobes oblique, 0.7–1.2 mm long, about as wide as long, flattish, quadrangular, margins toothed or with fingerlike papillae, surface otherwise variously papillate. Anther with blunt point reaching just below lateral lobes, distinctly papillose, yellow. Flowers Aug.–Dec., mostly Oct.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MuF, NIS, OtP, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WPro, Wim. Also SA, NSW (1 collection), ACT, Tas. Common and widespread in various habitats, from watercourses to scrubby woodlands, in sand, gravel and clay soils. Flowers Aug.-Dec. (mainly Oct.). Common and widespread in various habitats, from beside watercourses to scrubby woodlands, in sand, gravel and clay soils.

Flowers open on sunny, humid days, sometimes self–pollinating.

Similar to T. carnea, but the flowers are generally larger and the lateral lobes of the column are a different shape.

Putatively forms hybrids with T. antennifera, T. ixioides and members of the T. nuda/T.-pauciflora complex.

Source: Weber, J.Z.; Entwisle, T.J. (1994). Thelymitra. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-05-30
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 rubra in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Thelymitra rubra in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Victorian Alps present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory