06 September 2008

Leopard Orchid - Thelymitra benthamiana

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Leopard Orchid - Thelymitra benthamiana

A very impressive chunky orchid growing to 500 mm (over 1' 6"), with bright yellow and brown spotted flowers that can expand to 40 mm (over 11/2") diameter. Even the leaf is impressive growing to over 150 mm (6") in height by 50 mm (2") wide and supported on a winged stem.

Not a common orchid around Esperance, but can be found within Yate swamps, in the lightly vegetated, better drained edge of light seepage zones (often the outer edge of Agonis thickets where they peter out under the Yate trees, Eucalyptus occidentalis). They do very well after a summer bushfire, but will continue to flower providing they are not smothered by larger vegetation.

Flowering usually begins in September and finishes during November.