Thelymitra papuana J.J.Sm., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 66 (1934) 162
Type: Mayr s.n. (III-1929, Saruwaged Mts, Mongi-Buso 2600 m)
Terrestrial. Tuber obovoid, 1.5-3 cm long, 0.6-1.2 cm diam.; roots few, c. 2-3 cm long. Stem with two short, subterranean cataphylls, usually 1-, rarely 2-leaved. Leaf erect, narrowly linear, 6-32 by 0.3-0.8 cm, acute-acuminate. Inflorescence erect, glabrous, 1- to 11-flowered; peduncle glabrous, part present 17-46 cm long; peduncle-scales 3-4, the basal ones tubular, to 4.35 cm long, acute-acuminate, the upper one bract-like; rachis c. 8 cm long. Floral bracts convolute, clasping the base of the pedicels, appressed, concave, ovate-rhombic, subulate-acuminate, with 3-5 branched, dorsally prominent nerves, 1.1 cm long, at the base 0.23 cm, below the middle 0.6 cm wide. Flowers erect, 1.25 cm long. Sepals erect, cohering. Median sepal clasped by the margins of the lateral sepals, angular-ovate, apex subobtusely pointed, conical-apiculate, strongly concave, 1.15 by 0.6 cm. Lateral sepals similar to the median sepal but oblique, obtusely apiculate, 1.2-1.25 by 0.50-0.54 cm. Petals obliquely angular-ovate, narrowed towards the apex, obtuse, shortly obtusely apiculate, at the base shortly contracted, concave, 0.9-0.93 by 0.48-0.45 cm. Lip entire, elliptic, obtusely pointed, at the base slightly contracted, concave, 9-nerved, 0.93 by 0.43 cm, at the base 0.25 cm wide. Column strongly dorsally compressed, dorsally convex and longitudinally 5-ribbed, the three median ribs closely spaced, column in front concave, the margins on either side forming an oblong brush with long stalked hairs, erect, distinctly surpassing the clinandrium, column in outline oblong-quadrangular, in total 0.55 cm long, to the apex of the clinandrium 0.45 cm long, 0.3 cm wide; clinandrium abruptly contracted, strongly cucullate-incurved, bilobed, dorsally with a deep, longitudinal, double dorsal groove, in dorsal view in outline transversely quadrangular, 0.25 cm wide, the hairs 0.26 cm long, including the 0.1 cm long, curved stalk. Anther hidden below the clinandrium, cucullate, cordate, rostrate, beak rather long, narrowly triangular, obtuse, dorsally flattened. Stigma at the base of the front side of the column, narrower than the column, with dilated margins, in front forming a triangular lobule. Ovary (fertilised) obconical, 6-grooved, 0.9 cm long; pedicel thinner, 0.25 cm long. (Largely after Smith, 1934)
Colours: Flower pinkish or purplish.
Habitat: Terrestrial in montane to subalpine, often peaty grassland, road sides, tree-fern grassland and on ultramafic rock; 1700 to 4200 m.
Flowering time in the wild: January, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, December.
Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).
Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 688-73M.JPG.
Cultivation: Cool growing terrestrial, requires light position.