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Thelymitra tigrina facts for kids

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Tiger orchid
Scientific classification

Thelymitra tigrina, commonly called the tiger orchid or tiger sun orchid, is a species of orchid that is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It has a single narrow leaf and up to fifteen small yellow flowers with small brown spots.


Thelymitra tigrina is a tuberous, perennial herb with a single leaf 100–150 mm (4–6 in) long and 3–4 mm (0.1–0.2 in) wide. Between two and fifteen yellow, cup-shaped flowers with many dark brown spots, 10–16 mm (0.4–0.6 in) wide are borne on a flowering stem 150–700 mm (6–30 in) tall. The sepals and petals are 5–8 mm (0.2–0.3 in) long and 3–5 mm (0.1–0.2 in) wide. The column is a similar colour to the sepals and petals, 3–4 mm (0.12–0.16 in) long, about 2 mm (0.08 in) wide and has short, white, pimply arms on the sides. The lobe on top of the anther is short and covered with small bumps. The flowers are self-pollinated and open on hot, sunny days. Flowering occurs from November to January.

Taxonomy and naming

Thelymitra tigrina was first formally described in 1810 by Robert Brown and the description was published in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen. The specific epithet (tigrina) is a Latin word meaning "of tigers", referring to the colour of the flowers.

Distribution and habitat

The tiger orchid grows in dense scrub in near-coastal, winter-wet scrub. It is found between Perth and Albany with a disjunct population near Esperance.


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

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