Hatch’s sun orchid
Thelymitra pachyphylla sensu Hatch
Vascular – Native
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
2n = 66
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley.
2012 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. North, South and Stewart Islands.
Coastal to subalpine (up to 1300 m a.s.l.). Only coastal in southern part of range. Favouring clay banks, gravel, and open clay pans. Often in short scrub or fringing peat bogs and tarns. Preferring well lighted places.
Terrestrial, tuberous, glabrous, spring to summer-green perennial herb, forming dense colonies of 4-20 plants arising through vegetative extension. Plants dark reddish-green, stiffly erect, at flower up to 600 mm tall. Leaf solitary, erect, very fleshy to almost fleshy-coriaceous, deeply channelled and prominently ribbed longitudinally, 100-300 x 7-15 mm, dark reddish-green to reddish brown, broadly lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, strongly v-shaped in cross section, distinctly keeled, base closely sheathing. Inflorescence a (3-)6(-8)-flowered raceme borne on a dark reddish-green to reddish brown stout, wiry stem. Bracts 1-2(-3), foliaceous, closely-sheathing, fleshy, of similar colour to stem and leaf. Flower 15-20 mm diameter, usually pale to deep mauve sometimes pink, without stripes or spots. Sepals, petals and labellum fairly similar; sepals acutely elliptic, petals elliptic. Column robust, up to 8 mm tall, erect, sometimes with a small basal triangular process, initially white soon grading to dark mauve, then dark reddish brown near apex; post anther lobe tall, overtopping anther at least at sides, erect, truncate, more or less coarsely laciniate or denticulate but not thickened, inrolled or cucullate, sometimes obliquely forming a deep cleft at back, often terminating in two sharply acute points, usually dark red toward apex, margin more or less yellow; column arms terete to plano-convex in cross section; cilia copious, prominent, usually yellow to pale yellow, more rarely white or pink, arising from sides, back and top of arm, standing erect and overtopping post-anther lobe.
A distinctive species easily recognised by the dark reddish green foliage and stem; fleshy to fleshy-coriaceous, erect prominently keeled and v-shaped leaf; usually 6 flowered racemes; dark mauve flowers; dark reddish brown post anther lobe with a yellow, jagged margin, and column arms bearing copious, coarse, usually yellow cilia.
November - March
December - April
Very easily grown in a sunny, well drained site. Often naturalises in gardens within urban areas abutting indigenous vegetation. Although easily cultivated, like all orchids it should not be removed from the wild.
Not Threatened. Abundant throughout its range.
thelymitra: Woman’s hat
hatchii: After Hatch
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970).
References and further reading
Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.