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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Orchidaceae
Thelymitra aristata

Citation: Lindley, Gen. & Sp. Orchid. Pl. 521 (1840).

Synonymy: T. grandiflora Fitzg., Gdnrs' Chron. n.s. 17:495 (1882).

Common name: Giant sun-orchid, scented sun-orchid, great sun-orchid.

The most robust member of the genus, 35-95 cm high; leaf widely lanceolate, sheathing for 5-15 cm at the base, thick, generally enclosing the base of the lowest bract; stem bracts 3 or 4, large, acute, lower ones leafy.

Flowers purple-blue, c. 3 cm diam., usually numerous in a long raceme; perianth-segments rather acute, concave, oblong-lanceolate, 13-20 mm long, the labellum narrower than other segments; column erect, 6-7 mm high, hooded; wings wide and inflated, hair-tuffs white, horizontal; post-anther lobe arched, 2-fid, the halves deeply denticulate, the crest higher than the hair-tufts, the profile falcate; anther wholly concealed behind the stigma; pollinia 4 (in 2 pairs), lamellar (plate-like), connected directly with the viscid disk, no caudicle; stigma ovate, situated unusually low down in the concavity of the column below the middle; rostellum prominent, viscid.

Published illustration: Gray (1971) Victorian native orchids 2:29 as T. grandiflora; Pocock (1972) Ground orchids of Australia, pl. 143 as T. grandiflora; Woolcock (1984) Australian terrestrial orchids, pl. 72B.

Distribution:  Occurs singly or in small groups in clay or gravel soils in forest or scrubland or in the SE in damp sand around swamp margins.

S.Aust.: SE.   N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: Oct. — Nov.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: A putative hybrid has been recorded with T. nuda (FR)~

Author: Not yet available

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