Opening Salmon Sun-Orchid

Salmon Sun-orchid (Thelymitra rubra)

The emergence of the Salmon Sun-Orchids occurred in mid-October.  It  coincided with an illness, an awkward photographic position and low light, so I resolved to come back the next day and photograph them properly.  Unfortunately I didn’t make it back for two or three days. By the time I got back to look for them, they were gone.  Perhaps they flowered quickly, or perhaps a Swamp Wallaby ate them.  I don’t know.

These were the only two plants I found at the time, although there could have been more. The orchids were growing in an area populated by Xanthorrhoea, Bush-pea, Flax-lily, Guinea-flower, Tea-tree and similar species.  Most of these were in flower or about to flower, so the profusion of colour and texture makes this particular location one of my favourite places on the property.

In ‘Native Orchids of Australia‘ David L Jones states the Salmon Sun-Orchid can be found from September to December, and while it will grow in a variety of soil conditions, is likely to be found as “scattered individuals” rather than clumps of plants together.

Next October I plan to be well and ensure that I get out with my camera earlier in the day so I can take some good, clear photographs!  In the meantime, these will have to do.

Salmon Sun-orchid Buds
Standing approximately 20 cm high, these buds are tall enough to be visible, but the colour does make them blend into the leaf litter.
Opening Salmon Sun-Orchid
The open flowers have the classic look of the Sun-orchid. Next year I hope to take close-up of the full flower.



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