The Great Sun-orchid – Thelymitra grandiflora

South-Australia-Natureteers-Asparagales-Sun-Orchid-Thelymitra-grandiflora_1
Thelymitra grandiflora aka Great Sun-orchid, Giant Sun Orchid
South-Australia-Natureteers-Asparagales-Sun-Orchid-Thelymitra-grandiflora_2
Thelymitra grandiflora aka Great Sun-orchid, Giant Sun Orchid
South-Australia-Natureteers-Asparagales-Sun-Orchid-Thelymitra-grandiflora_3
Thelymitra grandiflora aka Great Sun-orchid, Giant Sun Orchid
South-Australia-Natureteers-Asparagales-Sun-Orchid-Thelymitra-grandiflora_4
Thelymitra grandiflora aka Great Sun-orchid, Giant Sun Orchid
South-Australia-Natureteers-Asparagales-Sun-Orchid-Thelymitra-grandiflora_5
Thelymitra grandiflora aka Great Sun-orchid, Giant Sun Orchid

Thelymitra grandiflora aka Great Sun-orchid, Giant Sun Orchid
Working classification…
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Charophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Superorder: Lilianae
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoidae
Tribe: Diurideae
Subtribe: Thelymitrinae
Mount George Conservation Park (Deanery Hill), South Australia – October 18th, 2014 – warm conditions after previous day’s rain

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

This is not a common species, but it is pretty spectacular! One source in The South Australian Naturalist, November, 1919, described it as “The most robust member of the genus”, and in The Gardener’s Chronicle, April 15th, 1882 this species was described as “…the largest and most beautiful Thelymitra known”. Flowers about 3cm wide heavily clustered up a tall stem 35-75cm high. Among the many similar plain blue species, this is possibly the least difficult to identify because of its size and the lemony colouration of its central sex parts. Like all Sun orchids, this species needs warm weather over 25 degrees C to open the flowers. It blooms from October to December.

http://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:apni.taxon:563420
http://www.johnwamsley.com/november21.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelymitra

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