Thelymitra carnea, the pink sun orchid, is a perennial herb with fleshy egg-shaped tubers in the Orchidaceae family. It grows from 8 to 40 cm and has a slender reddish-brown stem. Plants are scattered. It has an erect single narrow to rounded channelled leaf 4-18cm x 1-2.5mm, green with reddish base, sheathing at base of stem; 2-3 sheathing stem bracts.
Each plant has one to four pink flowers up to 15mm across. Sepals and petals are similar. Column pale pink, mid lobe with pink collar and yellow tip, short, narrow, not hooded; yellow column arms narrow, obliquely erect, margins scalloped; anther green. It flowers October to November. The plant grows in moist soils which dry out in summer on margins of swamps. It prefers full sun to semi shade. Flowers only open on hot humid days, self-pollinating in cooler weather.
It is found in Southeastern Australia and New Zealand. It is not threatened in the wild. The use of native orchids in gardens is not recommended, unless they already occur naturally, in which case they need to be protected. Removing orchids from the bush usually results in their death and further depletes remaining wild orchid populations. Take only photographs, not plants from the bush!
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