Malaxis arachnoidea

Malaxis arachnoidea (Schltr.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 78

Basionym: Microstylis arachnoidea

Terrestrial, erect, 25-35 cm high. Roots flexuose, terete. Stem at the very base decumbent rooting, soon becoming erect, leafy. Leaves 5-7, closely spaced, narrowed at the base into a petiole, obliquely rhombic-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, glabrous on both sides; blade 7-12 cm long, near the middle 2.3-2.7 cm wide; petiole 2-3 cm long, sheathing. Inflorescence with distant, lanceolate, acuminate, bract-like scales; rachis laxly many-flowered, elongated, more or less flexuose, up to 25 cm long. Floral bracts deflexed, lanceolate-subulate, 0.4-0.5 cm long. Median sepal ovate, subobtuse, almost 0.3 cm long. Lateral sepals equally long, subfalcate-oblique. Petals linear-ligulate, obtuse, a little shorter than the sepals. Lip long-auriculate at the base, with linear-falcate, acute auricles, blade rounded, on either side divided into four filiform, 0.3 cm long, divergent segments, at the apex terminating in two falcate, filiform, 0.1 cm long segments, blade itself 0.2 cm wide. Column short, dilated at the apex, truncate. Anther rounded, very small. Ovary clavate, 0.3 cm long. Fruit clavate, shortly pedicellate, , 0.3 cm diam., including the petiole 1.4 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1905)

Colours: Flowers violet.

Habitat: Terrestrial at the edge of Metroxylon swamps, in gallery forest and in leaf litter in rainforest; 20 to 650 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, August, October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-28M.JPG.

Cultivation: Warm growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.