Thelymitra carnea R.Br.

Pink Sun-orchid

Prodr. 314 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering stem erect, straight to gently flexuose at leaf or bract insertions, 8–40 cm long, c. 1.5 mm diam., green to reddish. Leaf narrow-linear, 4–18 cm long, 1–5 mm wide, almost terete, channelled, conduplicate or inrolled, green, often reddish basally. Inflorescence (1–)2(–5)-flowered. Sterile bracts usually 2. Perianth segments ovate, 4.5–7 mm long, pale to deep pink, rarely yellowish on inner face and reddish outside; sepals slightly larger and firmer than petals. Column cylindric-ovoid, 3–4 mm long, pinkish; mid-lobe c. 1 mm long, yellow and sometimes warted at apex; lateral lobes suberect, rising above mid-lobe, ovoid-oblong, longer than wide, 0.5–1 mm long, 0.4–0.8 mm wide, fleshy yellow, flat inside, rounded outside, slightly crenulate on margins and sometimes on outer surface, nearly parallel or incurved and almost meeting in front. Anther vertical, apex yellow, cream or greenish and slightly papillose, protruding below lateral lobes of column. Flowers mainly Oct., less commonly in Nov. and rarely in Dec.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, MuM, NIS, OtP, Strz, VAlp, VVP, WPro, Wim. Also SA, Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. Widespread and relatively common, solitary or in small colonies, occurring in a variety of habitats, from margins of swampy heaths to open-forests of drier areas, and from near sea-level to hilly country up to 700 m altitude.

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

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

Believed to form hybrids with T. ixioides (called T. ×irregularis).

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, 2014-09-17
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 carnea in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Thelymitra carnea in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain 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
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory