Seeds of South Australia
Thelymitra lucida (Orchidaceae)
Glistening Sun-orchid
List of species for Thelymitra
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Seed collecting:
December to February
Herbarium regions:
Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Kangaroo Island, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(i,ii,iii); D)   (Probable Decline)   [taxonomic issues]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [taxonomic issues; should be more records]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [taxonomic issues]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Data Deficient   [question to ID in Census; waterhole sp; only known from Larrikan Lagoon, which is drying; R Bates: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii) & declining]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04)Murray Darling Depression
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [no records, not yet databased; in Bangham, needs swamps/wetlands]
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. Lucida from the Latin 'lucidus' meaning bright or glittering, referring to the glistening bloom on the post-anther lobe of the column.
Found in the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in or near sedge swamps on moist or peaty soils, sometime in standing water at flowering time. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Very rare in the other states.
Plant description:
Terrestrial orchid with linear to linear-lanceolate leaves to 35 cm long and 12 mm wide, erect, fleshy, dark green with a purplish baes. Flowering spike straight, green to purplish, to 55 cm high with 1-7 dark blue flowers, petals and labellum often darker than the sepals. Flowering between November and December. This species is distinguished from the similar species Thelymitra mucida, by the thin, glistening layer on the post-anther lobe rather than copious thick, sticky, hoary secretion in T. mucida.
Fruit type:
Brown papery obovoid capsule to 15 mm long and 6 mm wide, ribbed.
Seed type:
Very small brown ellipsoid seed with a 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:
For the NVC South East Orchid Project two populations consisting of more than 320 individuals in total were recorded from the Nangwarry and Wandillo Nature Forest Reserves. Approximately 3,320,000 seeds (4.21 g) were banked from these two populations. Seed viability for the two collections was 77% to 89%.
Seed germination:
Seed germination for Thelymitra species is difficult in the absence of symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi.