Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Thismia tectipora Cowie

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Partly excavated plant showing habit, flower and roots. © Northern Territory Herbarium
Habit, flower and mitre. © Northern Territory Herbarium
Habit, top of stem, flower and mitre. © Northern Territory Herbarium

Cowie, I.D. & Liddle, D.T. (2016) Nuytsia 27: 87-91. Type: "Melville Island [near Paru], Northern Territory [precise locality withheld for conservation reasons], 18 February 2010, D.T. Liddle, N.A. Trikojus & N. Hunter 3603 (holo: DNA D0196145, spirit only)."


Plants lack chlorophyll, stems to 75 mm long, rather fleshy, colourless, with a cluster of apparently 2 leaves and 3 bracts subtending the flower; roots coralloid, terete, densley clustered.


Leaves alternate, scale-like, apparently white, 4-6 mm long, more or less truncate to 3-lobed at apex. Bracts ovate, ca. 8 mm long, white; apex cucullate, grey-brown.


Flowers solitary and terminal, actinomorphic, fungiform, ca. 12.5 mm long (excluding mitre-process), pink or reddish, apparently borne just above the soil surface. Perianth tube ca. 7 mm long x 5 mm diameter, apparently trigonous, more or less smooth, white at base, dark grey-purple above with darker vertical lines. Mitre operculate, forming a thickened, fleshy, pink, verrucose cap c. 6 mm long, covered with sub-appressed, scale-like, ± triangular verrucae; lower margin of mitre reflexed and extending downwards over the upper perianth tube, with 3 slightly longer, obtuse lobes covering the 3 pores at the junction of the perianth tube and mitre; pores oblong-elliptic, c. 2.5 mm wide, 0.7 mm high; mitre-process apical, central, solitary, erect, long-attenuate, c. 30 mm long, becoming filiform below the clavate, indistinctly lobed, reddish apex. Stamens 6, apparently colourless, inverted and the filaments dilated, free at base with pores between the filaments, laterally connate proximally into a cylinder attached at the apex of the perianth tube, c. 5.5 mm long, the staminal tube included in and parallel to the perianth tube; anthers extrorse, each with 2 separated, linear thecae c. 1.6 mm long lying longitudinally near each suture and extending from 1.4 mm above the point of attachment of staminal tube with the perianth tube to 2 mm below apex of connective; anther appendages c. 2 mm long, each with a quadrangular lateral appendage at the lower end on the adaxial surface and protruding outwards to the perianth tube; free apical part of the connective with a rounded to weakly retuse apical lobe; nectariferous gland present between appendages. Style c. 1 mm long; stigmatic lobes 3, erect, flattened, oblong, c. 1.5 mm long, minutely papillose; ovary inferior, unilocular, c. 2 mm long, flattened at apex; placentas 3, free, globular, on columns attached to the base of the loculus; ovules numerous.


Fruit and seeds not seen.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, known from several collections on Melville Island. Collected in or at the margins of spring-fed evergreen rainforest.

Thismia sp. Melville Island (D.T.Liddle et al. 3603) [HISPID Phrase Name].
RFK Code
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