Thelymitra Orchids (Sun Orchids) Species and Care
Thelymitra orchids or as they are commonly called ‘Sun Orchids’ and are often given descriptive names such as ‘Giant sun Orchid’ which is Thelymitra aristata and ‘Nude Sun Orchid’ which Thelymitra nuda.
They are a group of deciduous terrestrial native orchids often referred to as ‘sun orchids’ found in open heathlands the flowers open only on sunny hot days and remain closed during cloudy or cool conditions. A few hybrids are beginning to appear including ‘Kay Nessbitt’.
Not widely found in cultivation as most are difficult. They are summer dormant, and therefore the requirements of warmth and sun in late summer to autumn are conditions not always easy to meet. This summer dormancy also require very dry conditions.
As soon as the flowers emerge regular watering is required, and this should continue until the foliage begins to die back.
They require a very well drained soil and potting mixes with 60% perlite and 40% organic matter are not uncommon.
Thelymitra aristata is one of the larger growing species reaching around 1m hence the name ‘giant sun orchid’. Found from the coastal areas of Western Victoria through to the Grampians, South Australia and into NSW.
Thelymitra antennifera is native to Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria smaller growing with attractive yellow flowers.
Thelymitra ixioides is the Blue Spotted Sun Orchid.
Thelymitra nuda (pictured lower right) and Thelymitra fragrans (picture top right) are others.
If you are interested in Thelymitra species it would be well worth joining the Australian Native Orchid Society, a wealth of information, very interesting flower shows, often with a variety of species foe sale that you may well find nowhere else.
No Vendors for Thelymitra orchids at present.