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Thelymitra peniculata Jeanes
Family Orchidaceae
Thelymitra peniculata Jeanes APNI*

Description: Glabrous terrestrial herb.

Leaf linear, 14–25(-44) cm long and 5–12(-20) mm wide, erect, canaliculate, fleshy, ribbed abaxially, dark green with a purplish base, sheathing at base, apex acute to acuminate.

Inflorescence 20–50-(-66) cm tall, 1–3.5 mm diameter, slender to stout, straight, purplish. Sterile bracts usually 2 occasionally 1 or 3, linear to linear-lanceolate, 2–8(-12) cm long, 4–8(-11) mm wide, closely sheathing, acute to acuminate, green to purplish. Fertile bracts ovate to obovate, 5–27 mm long and 3–7 mm wide, acuminate, sheathing the pedicels. Pedicels 0.5–15 mm long, slender. Ovary narrow obovoid, 5–12 mm long and 2–3.5 mm wide. Flowers (1-)4–10(-18), 14–22 mm across, usually rich purple. Perianth segments 6–10(-12_ mm long, 3–6.5 mm wide, concave, often shortly apiculate; dorsal sepal ovate, obtuse to subacute; lateral sepals lanceolate to ovate, often asymmetric, acute; petals ovate to obovate, obtuse to subacute; labellum obovate to oblanceolate, acute, often slightly smaller than other segments. Column erect from the end of ovary, (4.5-)5–6.5 mm long and 2.5–4 mm wide, pink to purplish; post-anther lobe hooding the anther, 3–4 mm long and 2–3 mm wide, tubular, often somewhat compressed dorsally, open or closed on the ventral side, curving abruptly through about 90 degrees, dark brown to almost black, apex usually deeply bilobed, yellow, the lobes (0.5-)1–1.5 mm long, margins thickened and recurved; post-anther lobe extension 0.5–1.1 mm; auxiliary lobes often present as 2 triangular, incurved spurs to 0.5 mm long, on the lower apical margin of the post-anther lobe, sometimes touching near tip of anther beak; lateral lobes converging or more or less parallel, 1.2–1.5 mm long, digitiform, porrect at base, curving gently upwards, each with a sub-terminal, mop-like, moderately sparse, untidy tufy of hairs that embrace the post-anther lobe apex, the individual hairs (0.8-)1–1.3 mm long, white, sometimes proximal ones pinkish at base. ANther inserted above centre of column, ovoid, 2–3 mm long, 1.8–2.2 mm wide, the connective produced into an apical beak 0.4–0.8 mm long; pollinarium 1.5–2.3 mm long; viscidium more or less curcular, about 0.5 mm diameter, pollinia white, friable. Stigma situated at base of column, ovate-quadrate, 2–2.5 mm long and wide, margins irregular.

Capsules obovoid, 1–20 mm long, 4–8 mm wide, erect, ribbed.


Flowering: September to November, opening tardily on warm to hot days.

Distribution and occurrence: From on the southern end of the North Coast south to Tasmania, and inland to the Central Western Slopes. Also ACT, Victoria, SA.

Wide range of habitats including grassy woodlands, open forest, grassland and heath.
NSW subdivisions: NC, ST, SWS, CC, CWS
Other Australian states: Vic.
AVH map***



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.

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