Thelymitra ixioides Sw.

Dotted Sun-orchid

K. Svenska Vet. Acad. Handl., ser. 2, 21: 228, t. 3 (1800)

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering stem erect, straight, 13–60 cm tall, 2–5 mm diam., green to grey-green, sometimes reddish basally. Leaf filiform to linear-lanceolate, 8–30 cm long, 5–10 mm wide, canaliculate to plicate or inrolled distally, dark green, often reddish at base. Inflorescence 1–15-flowered, loose when few-flowered. Sterile bracts 2 or 3. Perianth segments ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 12–20 mm long, purple, blue, greenish-blue, pink, occasionally white or the sepals and petals of different hues, usually with darker spots on dorsal sepal and petals. Column 4–6 mm long, purple, bluish or pinkish, often with a dark brown, reddish or dark purple subterminal band; mid-lobe not hooded, central part truncate, with several irregular rows of crowded fingerlike vertical calli, white, yellow, orange, brown to purple, often bordered from inside (near anther) with a vertical plate-like crest, frequently taller than calli; accessory-lobes incurved over anther and nearly lying flat, columnar, protruding much higher than mid-lobe, oblique or flat-topped, yellow to orange, crest smooth to denticulate; lateral lobes 1.5–2.5 mm long, extending horizontally or oblique, flattish, ending in a mop-like white, pink or mauve hair-tuft. Anther protruding below or between column-arms, shortly beaked. Flowers Sep.–Dec.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, NIS, OtP, VVP, WaP. Also SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Found in many habitats including swamps, heathland on sandy soils, low woodlands on skeletal soils, open forests and grasslands.

Variants with unspotted flowers occur occasionally.

Distinguished from Thelymitra juncifolia by the generally larger, more freely opening, insect-pollinated flowers.

Known to hybridise with members of the T. nuda/T. pauciflora complex (T. ×truncata, T. ×merraniae) and with T. carnea and T. rubra (both hybrids included in 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: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-16
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 ixioides in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Thelymitra ixioides in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool 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
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory