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Thelymitra cornicina facts for kids

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Lilac sun orchid
Apostasia wallichii (as Apostasia stylidioides) - Thelymitra cornicina - Xenia 2-196 (1874) - cropped 2.jpg
Illustration from Reichenbach's Xenia Orchidacea
Scientific classification
  • Thelymitra fasciculata Fitzg.

Thelymitra cornicina, commonly called the lilac sun orchid, is a species of orchid in the family Orchidaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It has a single narrow, pale green leaf and up to eight lilac-tinged blue flowers with the lobe on top of the anther covered with short, finger-like calli.


Thelymitra cornicina is a tuberous, perennial herb with a single pale green leaf 100–200 mm (4–8 in) long and 3–5 mm (0.1–0.2 in) wide. Up to eight pale blue to dark blue flowers with a lilac tinge, 25–30 mm (0.98–1.2 in) wide are borne on a flowering stem 200–500 mm (8–20 in) tall. The sepals and petals are 10–15 mm (0.4–0.6 in) long and 6–8 mm (0.2–0.3 in) wide. The column is blue with a yellow crest, 3.5–4.5 mm (0.1–0.2 in) long and about 2 mm (0.08 in) wide. The lobe on the top of the anther is short and densely covered with short, finger-like yellow glands. The side lobes have mop-like tufts of a few white to lilac hairs. The flowers are insect pollinated and open on sunny days. Flowering occurs from September to November.

Taxonomy and naming

Thelymitra cornicina was first formally described in 1871 by Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach and the description was published in Beitrage zur Systematischen Pflanzenkunde. The specific epithet (cornicina) is a Latin word meaning "having a horny sheath".

Distribution and habitat

The lilac sun orchid grows in scrubland and forest between Perth and Hopetoun in the Esperance Plains, Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain and Warren biogeographic regions.


Thelymitra cornicina is classified as "not threatened" in Western Australia by the Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.

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