Thelymitra benthamiana Rchb.f.

Blotched Sun-orchid

Beitr. Syst. Pflanzenk. 55. (1871) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: vulnerable (v)

Flowering stem erect, straight, 10–55 cm tall, 1.5–5 mm diam., green. Leaf ovate-lanceolate to ovate, 5–25 cm long, 8–55 mm wide, erect or obliquely erect, base contracted, sheathing for up to half its length, blade flattish, leathery, ribbed abaxially, bright green to yellow-green. Inflorescence (1–)3–5(–15)-flowered. Sterile bracts usually 2, sometimes 3. Perianth segments thick-textured, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 10–20 mm long, yellow or yellow-green with dark brown or red-brown spots or blotches. Column erect, 6–10 mm long, green or yellowish with red-brown spots, very broadly winged, the wings deeply fringed along distal margin; mid-lobe short, dorsal surface covered densely with orange hairs; supra-anther lobe 1.7–2.5 mm long, rod-like with a swollen clavate apex, decurrent on mid-lobe; lateral lobes digitiform 1–2 mm long, yellow, each with 2 similar but slightly thinner and longer basal lobes. Anther inserted towards base of column, apex produced into a fleshy, curved beak 2.5–3.5 mm long. Flowers Nov.-early Dec.

DunT, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, OtP, OtR, VVP, WaP, WPro. Also WA, SA. Uncommon in gravelly and heavier clay-soils, mostly in light forest. . Found mostly in heathland, heathy woodlands and open forests on well-drained sand and clay loams.

Thelymitra benthamiana is widespread across southern Australia, while all the rest of the T. fuscolutea complex are confined to Western Australia.

Flowers most prolifically following hot summer fires or other habitat disturbance.

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, 2014-09-30
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 benthamiana in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Thelymitra benthamiana 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
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Otway Ranges present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia