Thelymitra alpicola - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Thelymitra alpicola
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 02 Oct 2015
Profile last updated: 22 Aug 2018


Glabrous terrestrial herb. Leaf linear to linear-lanceolate, 6–25 cm long, 4–13 mm wide, erect, dark green with purplish base. Scape 15–50 cm tall, 1–3.7 mm diam., straw-coloured to purplish. Pedicels 3–18 mm long, slender. Flowers 1–6, 15–34 mm across, deep purplish blue with darker longitudinal striations, opening freely in warm weather. Labellum obovate to oblanceolate, often slightly broader than petals, acute to obtuse. Capsules obovoid, 10–18 mm long, 4–8 mm wide, erect, ribbed.


Thelymitra alpicola is distributed in south–eastern New South Wales and north–eastern Victoria. The northernmost populations are in the upper Blue Mountains. The remainder of the New South Wales distribution is from the Snowy Mountains extending north–west to Bago State Forest and to the eastern part of the Great Dividing Range south from Braidwood.

Habitat and ecology

  • In Kosciuszko National Park and the Bago plateau the species occurs in wet heaths and adjacent to Sphagnum bogs between 1000-1500 metres. Associated species include Hakea microcarpa, Leptospermum myrtifolium, Baeckea utilis, Baeckia gunniana, Epacris breviflora, Epacris paludosa, Baloskion austral and Empodisma minus. Apparently the species does not occur in Sphagnum where Thelymitra cyanea is more likely to occur. Near Clyde Mountain the species has been found in wet heaths with Banksia paludosa and Baeckea utilis near a creek. The habitat described on the collection notes at Kanangra-Boyd NP were swamp/heath, and swamp. The only other information was "under Leptospermum" and open sites "between sedges". Flowering occurs from late November to mid December with fruits taking about a month to ripen.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Australian AlpsSnowy Mountains Predicted N
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Predicted N
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Predicted N
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Predicted N
South Eastern HighlandsKybeyan-Gourock Predicted N
South Eastern HighlandsOberon Predicted N