Thelymitra alpina Jeanes

Muelleria 31: 26 (2013) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering stem erect, straight, 15–45(–80) cm tall, 1.5–4.5 mm diam., green to purplish. Leaf linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, attenuate, 10–32 cm long, 5–15 mm wide, fleshy, canaliculate, ribbed abaxially, sheathing at base, dark green grading to purplish towards the base. Inflorescence 2–10(–20)-flowered, loose. Sterile bracts usually 2, sometimes 3. Perianth segments lanceolate to ovate, (9–)15–20(–25) mm long, blue to purplish, occasionally lilac, pink or white. Column slender, 5.5–7 mm long, pink or pale blue; mid-lobe hooding the anther, tubular, highly inflated, dorsally compressed, gently curved through c. 90 deg., pale to dark brown, apex bilobed, yellow, distal margin with 2 prominent forward-pointing horn-like teeth; lateral lobes converging 1–2 mm long, digitiform, porrect at base then curved upwards, each with a toothbrush-like arrangement of white hairs, terminating in front of mid-lobe. Anther inserted about mid-way along column, shortly beaked. Flowers Oct.–Jan.

CVU, EGU, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, SnM, VAlp. Also NSW, ACT. Grows in alpine and sub-alpine meadows and woodlands often dominated by Snow Gums, or in open montane forests. Substrates are usually sandy or peaty loams.

Flowers open readily on warm days.

Thelymitra alpina could be confused with T. megcalyptra, but the former favours higher altitudes, the column is more elongate, dorsally compressed and the distal margin has two forward-pointing horn-like teeth.

Created by: Jeff Jeanes, 2014-09-02
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-15
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 alpina in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Thelymitra alpina in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory