Seeds of South Australia
Thelymitra exigua (Orchidaceae)
Stout Sun-orchid
List of species for Thelymitra
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
December to January
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv))   (Probable Decline)   [new taxa; restricted habitat; grows in boggy river redgum flats; habitat covered in pines; could be CR]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv))   (Probable Decline)   [new taxa; restricted habitat; grows in boggy river redgum flats; habitat covered in pines; could be CR]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Data Deficient   [Taxonomy. Det by Jeanes but unidentifable by Rbates & NOSSA.]
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. Exigua from the Latin 'exigua' meaning small or short, alluding to the short, stout nature of the plants.
Found in the Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia, growing in grassland, grassy woodland, heathy woodland and dense shrubland on heavy brown or black loam soils. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Glabrous, clumping terrestrial orchid with llinear to linear-lanceolate eaves to 22 cm long and 10 mm wide, erect, fleshy, dark green with a purplish base. Flowering spike straight, purplish or sometime green, to 35 cm long with 1-4 pale blue or pale purple (less often pink or white) flowers opening tardily only on very warm to hot days. Flowering between September and November. A combination of features can be used to distinguish this species such as growing in tight clumps (from vegetative reproduction), leaf relatively broad and fleshy and often nearly as tall as the inflorescence, short and stout inflorescence and usually with a solitary sterile bract.
Fruit type:
Brown papery obovoid capsule  to 15 mm long and 6 mm wide, ribbed.
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 or in liquid nitrogen.