Thursday, 9 February 2017


Thelymitra ixioides, known as the Spotted Sun Orchid is a common plant in eastern and southern Australia, it is also found in New Zealand and New Caledonia. Leaves are thin or lanceolate, up to 20 cm long. A small plant of the Orchidaceae family, it has spotted flowers, forming from August to January. They are usually blue, but sometimes violet. It grows in eucalyptus woodland or heathland.

Thelymitra is derived from the Greek thely, female and mitra, a headdress, referring to the appearance of the plumed column (the fused stamens, styles and stigma). The specific name ixioides means similar to the genus Ixia. It is known as the "sun orchid" because the flowers of most species only open fully on warm, sunny days. There are about 80 species of terrestrial orchids in the genus Thelymitra.

As T. ixioides has fairly specialised cultural needs (like most terrestrial orchids) it is cultivated mainly by orchid enthusiasts. Generally the plants are grown in pots in a freely draining, sandy mix. They require good air circulation in a protected position of about 50% sun during the growing period from autumn to spring. During this growing period the plants must not be allowed to dry out. After the leaves have turned brown in late spring to early summer the pots are allowed to dry out completely. Repotting of tubers can be carried out in summer. This orchid is not considered to be at risk in the wild.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

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