Malaxis sciaphila

Malaxis sciaphila (Schltr.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 84

Basionym: Microstylis sciaphila

Terrestrial, decumbent, small, up to 13 cm high. Rhizome elongated, stem-like; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stem elongated, at the apex ascending, many-leaved. Leaves erect-patent or patent, petiolate; blade obliquely elliptic or ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, with more less undulate margins, 2.5-3.5 cm long, below the middle 1-1.5 cm wide; petiole dilated at the base, sheathing, 1-1.5 cm long. Inflorescence slender, more or less flexuose, angular, with a few small, distant, bract-like scales, glabrous; rachis rather densely many-flowered, up to 5 cm long, c. 1.2 cm diam. across the flowers. Floral bracts deflexed, narrowly lanceolate, acute, about as long as the ovary and pedicel. Flowers patent, glabrous. Sepals ovate-oblong, obtuse, 0.2 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique. Petals obliquely linear-ligulate, obtuse, glabrous, a little shorter than the sepals. Lip distinctly crescent shaped-auriculate; blade 3-lobed above the middle, 0.15 cm long, at the base 0.2 cm wide; lateral lobes divided into five teeth, the outer one short, triangular, the other four longer, lanceolate-acuminate, subfalcate, becoming smaller towards the outer margins; mid-lobe semiorbicular, at the apex shortly notched, not surpassing the teeth of the lateral lobes; pit narrow, its margin horseshoe-shaped, decurrent from the middle of the mid-lobe to the base of the lip; basal auricles lanceolate-triangular, subobtuse, 0.15 cm long. Column short, conspicuously dilated towards the apex. Ovary cylindrical, 5-ribbed, including the pedicel c. 0.35 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Flowers deep wine-red with darker transparent short stripes.

Habitat: Terrestrial in lower montane forest; 1000 m.

Flowering time in the wild: March, September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-389M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.