Thelymitra circumsepta W.Fitzg.

Austral. Orch. 1 (4): t. 1 (1878) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: vulnerable (v)

Flowering stem erect, straight, slender to stout, 15–70 cm tall, 1–6 mm diam., pale green to purplish. Leaf linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, 10–45 cm long, 5–20 mm wide, thick, leathery, canaliculate, ribbed abaxially, sheathing at base, dark green, purplish at base. Inflorescence 1–20-flowered. Perianth segments ovate to lanceolate, 10–15(–21) mm long, usually blue to purplish, sometimes pink; sepals firmer than petals. Column 4–6 mm long, stout, pale blue or greenish; mid-lobe vestigial to very short, hardly hooding, usually salmon-pink, orange or reddish with a narrow purplish collar, apex irregularly and shallowly toothed or incised, grading to yellow; auxiliary lobes more or less parallel, quadrate, obliquely erect, toothed or fringed on the distal margin, yellow; lateral lobes converging, 1–1.5 mm long, digitiform, often somewhat compressed, obliquely erect, each with a shaggy toothbrush-like arrangement of yellow hairs on the distal margins, sometimes with a third staminode variously developed from the wing in front of the stigma. Anther inserted near apex of column, apex produced into a short beak. Flowers Nov.–Feb.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, HSF, MonT, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VVP. Also SA, NSW, Tas. Found in open forest, woodlands or tall wet forest, usually in moist positions such as swamp margins, stream banks or sphagnum bogs in peaty sand, clay loams or rich mountain loams. Found from near sea-level to subalpine areas.

Flowers open tardily on hot, humid days and are almost obligately self–pollinating.

Thelymitra circumsepta is a widespread but vulnerable species.

The third front lobe appears sporadically, sometimes occurring in a single flower of a raceme. It is variously developed as a small lobe to a larger, penicillate, third column-arm, and appears to be a reversion to a more `regular' flower structure. This phenomenon has been observed in other species including T. rubra and members of the T. pauciflora/T. nuda 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: Jeff Jeanes, 2014-09-26
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 circumsepta in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Thelymitra circumsepta in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory