Malaxis hydrophila

Malaxis hydrophila (J.J.Sm.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 80

Basionym: Microstylis hydrophila

Stem short, rooting at the base, 4-5 cm long, c. 5-7-leaved. Leaves patent, petiolate, obliquely ovate-lanceolate, subfalcate, gradually narrowed, acute or obtuse, apiculate, plicate, undulate, the three larger nerves grooved above, keeled underneath, 3.5-6 cm long, 1.15-1.8 cm wide; petiole channelled, including the tubular sheath 1-1.4 cm long. Inflorescence erect, elongated, laxly many-flowered, peduncle angular, 5-10 cm long, with a few reflexed, subulate, to 0.5 cm long scales, rachis with nodding apex, ribbed, 5-15 cm long. Floral bracts reflexed, lanceolate-triangular, acute, 0.3-0.45 cm long. Flowers very small, 0.3-0.35 cm wide, 0.33-0.4 cm long, with recurved sepals and petals. Median sepal ovate, rounded, strongly convex, 3-nerved, 0.18-0.24 cm long, 0.14-0.16 cm wide. Lateral sepals broadly obliquely ovate, broadly obtuse, strongly convex, 3-nerved, 0.2 cm long, 0.14-0.17 cm wide. Petals oblong or elliptic-oblong, obtuse, convex, 1-nerved, 0.17-0.2 cm long, 0.06-0.1 cm wide. Lip broadly horseshoe-shaped, in total 0.23-0.3 cm long, 0.26-0.34 cm wide, in front on either side with 3-4 equally long, short, triangular, acute teeth, and with one obtuse outer tooth; mid-lobe much surpassing the teeth, in outline broadly ovate, up to the middle divided into two triangular, subobtuse or somewhat acute lobules, blade in the middle concave, inside with a transverse curved thickening, at the base with a transverse, erect, short, truncate lamella which is appressed to the column; auricles distant, divergent, short, broadly triangular, subobtuse or somewhat acute, 0.1 cm long. Column short, dorsally compressed, 0.06-0.1 cm long, auricles conical, much surpassing the anther. Anther transversely elliptic-obreniform; pollinia 4, oblong. Ovary pedicellate, 0.3 cm long. (After Smith, 1909)

Colours: Leaves satin-like shiny, dull dark violet. Peduncle dull violet. Floral bracts green-purple. Flowers yellowish green, when older becoming dull purple. Pollinia yellow.

Habitat: Terrestrial in swampy lowland forest.

Flowering time in the wild: July.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia). See map: 431-168M.JPG.

Cultivation: Warm growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.