Thelymitra antennifera, flexuosa, psammophila - Lemon Scented, Twisted and Sandplain Sun Orchids

These three species of sun orchid all have bright yellow flowers. They are all similar in appearance and are distinguished mainly by differences in the column. The Lemon-scented and Twisted Sun Orchids frequently hybridise with species of the Scented Sun Orchid group. These hybrids are usually pink to red in colour.


Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid

The Lemon Scented Sun Orchid is probably the most common sun orchid in Western Australia. Often seen as carpets of yellow flowers, it inhabits moist areas, including swampy land and runoff areas on and around granite outcrops. It is widespread across the entire south west of Western Australia. Its flowers have a distinct lemon scent.

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thalymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid

Thalymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon Scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid

Thelymitra antennifera - Lemon-scented Sun Orchid


Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

The Twisted Sun Orchid has similar flowers to the Lemon-scented Sun Orchid, but they are much smaller and are distinguished by the differently shaped column and zig-zagging stems (hence its scientific and common names.) The Lemon Scented Sun Orchid also can have zig-zagging stems, however those of the Twisted Sun Orchid are usually much more pronounced.

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra flexuosa - Twisted Sun Orchid


Thelymitra psammophila - Sandplain Sun Orchid

The Sandplain Sun Orchid is very similar to the Lemon-scented Sun Orchid. It is distinguished by the column wings. In the Lemon-scented Sun Orchid, these are held up above the tip of the column. In the Sandplain Sun Orchid, they wrap around the tip of the column. The orchid is a rare species, only found in a few locations in the Ongerup area, growing in sandy clay soils amongst low scrub.

Thelymitra psammophila - Sandplain Sun Orchid

Thelymitra psammophila - Sandplain Sun Orchid

Thelymitra psammophila - Sandplain Sun Orchid

Thelymitra psammophila - Sandplain Sun Orchid

Thelymitra psammophila - Sandplain Sun Orchid

Thelymitra psammophila - Sandplain Sun Orchid

Thelymitra psammophila - Sandplain Sun Orchid

Thelymitra psammophila - Sandplain Sun Orchid


Hybrids

The Lemon Scented (and also the Twisted Sun Orchid) readily hybridise with any of the Scented Sun Orchid group where the two are found together. Interestingly, such hybrids range in colour from red to pink to orange.

Thelymitra x macmillanii - Red Sun Orchid

Thelymitra x macmillanii - Red Sun Orchid

Thelymitra x macmillanii - Red Sun Orchid

Thelymitra x macmillanii - Red Sun Orchid

Thelymitra x macmillanii - Red Sun Orchid

Thelymitra x macmillanii - Red Sun Orchid