Seeds of South Australia
Thelymitra hygrophila (Orchidaceae)
Blue Star Sun-orchid
List of species for Thelymitra
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
November to December
Herbarium regions:
Murray, Southern Lofty
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA region
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); D)   (Probable Decline)   [only recently known, records not yet databased; endemic; Springton type location; < 50 plants known; habitat decline; only known at Kuitpo]
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. Hygrophila from the Greek 'hugros' meaning water and 'phelos' meaning love, referring to the plant's affinity for moist soil or is restricted to the vicinity of waterholes.
Endemic to South Australia and found only in the higher parts of the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, growing in river red gum grassy flats in or around the edges of ephemeral pools.
Native. Very rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
A clumping terrestrial orchid growing to 40 cm tall. Leaves erect, dark green to 300 mm long and 6 mm wide and sheath the stem up to 6 cm from the base of the plant. Inflorescence a long spike with one to five star-shaped, pale-blue flowers, to 20 mm in diameter opening in warm weather. Flowers in October and last for three weeks.
Fruit type:
Brown papery ellipsoid capsule.
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.