Thelymitra media R.Br.

Tall Sun-orchid

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering stem erect, slender to stout, straight, 20–100 cm long, 2–7 mm diam., green to purplish. Leaf linear to lanceolate, attenuate, 10–40 cm long, 3–20 mm wide, thick, fleshy, canaliculate to conduplicate, ribbed abaxially, sheathing at base, dark green with a purplish base. Inflorescence 2–30-flowered. Sterile bracts 1–3. Flowers sweet-scented, pale to dark blue, rarely pink or white; perianth segments ovate to lanceolate, 10–22 mm long, sepals firmer than petals. Column cylindric to quadrangular, 4–7 mm long, white to pale blue; mid-lobe slightly hooding, 0.5–1 mm long, 1–2 mm wide, yellow with a black subapical collar, apex with 1–several rows of rounded calli, sometimes irregularly toothed; auxiliary lobes 0.6–1 mm long, converging, more or less rectangular to quadrate, fleshy, porrect or obliquely erect, apex toothed or warty, yellow; lateral lobes 1.5–2.5 mm long, oblong, porrect or obliquely erect, apical margins with a toothbrush-like arrangement of white hairs. Anther inserted near middle of column, with a slender incurved beak protruding below the lateral lobes. Flowers Oct.–Jan.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, HNF, HSF, MonT, SnM, Strz, VAlp, WPro. Also Qld, NSW. Grows in sub-alpine woodland, wet sclerophyll forest and open forest, often on rich mountain loams or occasionally on poorer clay loams.

Although the flowers of Thelymitra media are superficially similar to those of T. ixioides, the former is usually a far more robust plant and has unspotted flowers.

Thelymitra media has been confused with T. improcera and T. longiloba, but can be distinguished by its generally later flowering period, more robust nature, larger flowers and usually longer lateral lobes on the column.

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 media in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Thelymitra media in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Gippsland Plain present native
Central Victorian Uplands 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
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales