Seeds of South Australia
Thelymitra aristata (Orchidaceae)
Giant Sun-orchid
List of species for Thelymitra
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
December to February
Herbarium regions:
Northern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Northern and Yorke, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(i,ii,iii); D)   (Definite Decline)   [Mt Burr]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [(no records) newly discovered in The Marshes in 2010]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [Big Heath CP - questionable if here]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Thelymitra]
Name derivation:
Thelymitra from Greek 'thelys' meaning a bishop and 'mitra' meaning a headwear, hat, hence a bishop’s mitre; referring to the sometimes plumed or decorated wings of the column, which is usually produced behind and over the anther in a hood-like projection. Aristata from the Latin 'arista' meaning awned; referring to the floral bracts which are abruptly contracted into long acuminate points.
Found in the south-east in South Australia, north of Mt Gambier, growing in clay or gravel soils in forest or scrubland around swamp margins in damp sands. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Endangered in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Grows to 95 cm tall  with up to 40 large flowers. Single basal leaf is linear-lanceolate to lanceolate to 35 mm long and 22 mm wide, leathery, often spotted or blotched. Flowers are large blue, lilac to purple, tepals to 25 mm long, column is white to blue with dense white hairs on the lateral lobes. Flowering between September and November.
Fruit type:
Brown papery ellipsoid capsule.
Seed type:
Very small dark brown ellipsoid seed with an ovoid translucent brown mesh-like covering.
Seed collecting:
Collect fat capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the seeds. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place, refrigerator or in liquid nitrogen.
Seed viability: