Thelymitra pulcherrima

Thelymitra pulcherrima

Thelymitra pulcherrima or Queen of Sheba is a small Australian orchid.

It is threatened and apparently not cultivated. It seems that it is very difficult to grow or propagate in vitro.

It is part of the family Orchidaceae, sub-family Orchidoideae, tribe Diurideae, sub-tribe Thelymitrinae, genus Thelymitra.

Description:

Small, cold terrestrial orchid with a single upright leaf, broad, lobed, purplish and twisted into a spiral. It is only 15 cm high.

It blooms in winter with an erect flower spike of 15-35 cm long with 1-7 flowers of 2.5-3.5 cm. The flowers usually have three pink petals and three red-yellow sepals.

Origin:

Southwest of Australia



Habitat:

Sandy soil in open woodland and heath on the coastal plain, between 50-200 m altitude

Etymology:

Thelymitra: from the Greek thely (woman) and mitra (hat) because of the sterile stamen on the upper part of the column, called mitra
Pulcherrima: from the Latin pulcherrimus (very beautiful)

Image sources

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