The remarkable effect that secondary bonding interactions can have on the macroscopic properties of a material is illustrated by two polymorphs of the title compound. The phase which is most stable under ambient pressure and temperature consists of puckered supramolecular ribbon polymers assembled by Te - N secondary bonding interactions and displays a characteristic red-orange color. A second yellow phase consists of ribbons with alternating short and long intermolecular Te - N secondary bonding distances and is metastable; at 127 °C the material undergoes an exothermic irreversible transition to the red polymorph. A third phase consists of pyridine-solvated supramolecular dimers; it is also yellow and transforms into the red phase after the crystals effloresce. Computational DFT studies indicate that the observed changes in optical properties are related to intermolecular mixing of π orbitals enabled by the supramolecular interactions and the symmetry of the supramolecular synthon.