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Common name: Dotted Sun Orchid
Thelymitra ixioides Sw. APNI*
Description: Terrestrial herb.
Leaf linear to lanceolate, to 20 cm long and 10 mm wide, ribbed, dark green often reddish to base.
Inflorescence to 60 cm high, 3–9-flowered. Perianth segments <22 mm long, c. 12 mm wide, blue and rounded to pinkish and elongated (sometimes with a very short claw); sepals sometimes different shade from petals but most plants with dark spots on petals and dorsal sepal. Column to 5 mm long, erect, bluish. Midlobe with a dense rows of long, variable, colourful calli; accessory lobes columnar, erect with papillose-toothed tips. Lateral arms obliquely erect, with terminal tufts of white, pink or mauve hairs.
Distribution and occurrence: Widespread in heath and sclerophyll forest, from the coast to subalpine regions; inland to Blue Mtns.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
One of the most common and variable species of Thelymitra, occurs along roadsides. It is so variable that some authorities have treated T. purpurata and T. merraniae as its variants rather than as distinct species. T. ixioides hybridizes with T. pauciflora (producing T. X truncata R. S. Rogers), T. nuda and T. rubra or T. carnea. (producing T. X irregularis Nicholls).
Text by P. Bernhardt
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.