Thelymitra epipactoides F.Muell

Metallic Sun-orchid

Fragm. 5: 174 (1866) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:EPBC: endangered (EN); Victoria: endangered (e); listed in Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Flowering stem erect, stout, straight, 20–50 cm tall, 2–6 mm diam., green or purplish. Leaf linear to linear-lanceolate, 18–30 cm long, 10–30 mm wide, flattish, fleshy, canaliculate, ribbed abaxially, sheathing at base, dark green with a purplish base. Inflorescence 5–25-flowered. Sterile bracts 1–3, large, leaf-like. Perianth segments ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 10–20 mm long, thick-textured, pink, bronze, green, blue or reddish, often with a coppery sheen. Column ovoid, 5–8 mm long, same colour as perianth but often paler; mid-lobe expanded into an incurved, semi-circular ridge, 2–3 mm long, 1–1.5 mm wide, purplish-brown, attenuated, rising over the anther and higher than the lateral lobes, the yellow tip finely toothed or incised; auxiliary lobes usually incurved and often interlocking, more or less flat, strap-like, apex irregularly toothed, yellow; lateral lobes converging, filiform, obliquely erect, hair-tufts in a long tooth-brush like arrangement, white. Anther inserted towards base of column, apex ending in a moderately long beak. Flowers Sep.–Nov.

DunT, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, OtP, VVP, WaP, Wim. Also SA. Grows mostly in coastal heathland, grassland and woodland, but extending further inland into similar habitats in the western part of its range. Substrates may be moist or dry sandy soils.

Flowers open freely on warm days and are insect-pollinated.

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, 2014-09-18
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 epipactoides in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Thelymitra epipactoides in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales