Malaxis olivacea

Malaxis olivacea (Schltr.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 83

Basionym: Microstylis olivacea

Terrestrial, erect, glabrous, c. 30 cm high. Roots filiform, villose, flexuose. Stem very short, densely leafy. Leaves erect-patent, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, plicate, narrowed at the base into a clasping petiole, 6-9 cm long, above the base 1.5-2.5 cm wide; petiole 1.5-2 cm long. Inflorescence erect, weakly flexuose, somewhat terete, glabrous, in the basal part with a few linear-lanceolate, acuminate, distant peduncle-scales; rachis laxly many-flowered, elongated, up to 15 cm long. Floral bracts lanceolate, acuminate, deflexed, the lower ones 0.7 cm long, the upper ones shorter. Flowers erect, not resupinate. Median sepal oblong, obtuse, 0.5 cm long. Lateral sepals as long as the median sepal but a little broader, oblique, obtuse. Petals linear, obtuse, deflexed, hardly longer than the median sepal. Lip at the base long-auriculate, with lanceolate-falcate, acute auricles, 0.5 cm long [without the auricles], in the broadest part 0.6 cm wide, auricles 0.3 cm long; blade broadly ovate, in the middle longitudinally thickened, with two crescent-shaped keels from the base to the middle, margins on either side towards the apex with four minute, triangular teeth, at the apex with a larger obtuse tooth. Column short, stelidia falcate, subacute, almost surpassing the deeply emarginate rostellum. Ovary 0.6 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1905)

Colours: Flowers olive-green.

Habitat: Terrestrial in montane forest; 1400 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-301M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.