Thelymitra longifolia

Thelymitra longifolia or common sun orchid is a white flowered orchid from New Zealand.

It is named sun orchid because its flowers bloom on hot, sunny days.

This orchid is not too difficult to grow in pot.

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


Thelymitra longifolia is a terrestrial tuberous orchid. In bloom it is up to 1 m high, usually 50 cm high. It often grows in clumps.

The leaves are single, green to reddish-brown, often with rusty spots. Older plants have wide, ribbed and strap-like leaves lying flat on the ground. Young plants have more upright, concave leaves.

There are up to 20 flowers, 1-1.5 cm wide, white and sometimes pink. The top of the column is usually rounded. The column arms have short, dense, tangled cilia that are firmly pressed against the column.


New Zealand, Norfolk Island


Lowland to subalpine. Sunny spots on clay banks, open spaces in shrub, railways and roads, meadows.


Common names:

Common sun orchid, white sun orchid


Serapias regularis, Thelymitra alba, Thelymitra cornuta, Thelymitra forsteri, Thelymitra longifolia var. alba, Thelymitra nemoralis


Thelymitra: from the Greek thely (woman) and mitra (hat) because of the sterile stamen on the upper part of the column, called mitra
Longifolia: from the Latin longus (long) and folium (leaf)



80% perlite or Seramis and 20% organic material such as wood shavings or sawdust, sphagnum …




Start watering when growth resumes and then keep the substrate moist. When the leaves wither, the plant enters rest and the tuber should be kept completely dry.


0-20 °C during vegetative growth

12-42 °C during rest


Cultivated plants need to be pollinated manually.

Seeds are harvested just before the pods pops open.

Sow in the pot from the mother plant or in a flask.