Malaxis brachycaulos

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

Basionym: Microstylis brachycaulos

Epiphytic, erect, 6-10 cm high. Rhizome very short; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stem short, bulb-like thickened, 1.5-3 cm long, 0.8-1 cm diam., 2-3-leaved, covered with leaf-sheaths. Leaves erect-patent, shortly petiolate, obliquely ovate, acuminate, glabrous, 3.5-7 cm long, below the middle 2-4.3 cm wide; petiole broad, at the base dilated, sheathing, 0.7-1 cm long. Inflorescence straight, shorter than the leaves; peduncle angular, glabrous; rachis densely many-flowered, up to 2 cm long. Floral bracts lanceolate, acuminate; before anthesis patent, later deflexed, surpassing the flowers. Flowers subpendent, glabrous. Median sepal ovate-lanceolate, subobtuse, 0.45 cm long. Lateral sepals obliquely ovate, subobtuse, 0.35 cm long. Petals obliquely lanceolate-linear, subobtuse, almost as long as the lateral sepals. Lip long-sagittate, 0.25 cm long [excluding the auricles], at the base 0.3 cm wide, in front semiorbicular, subapiculate, callus ovate-lanceolate, extending from base to apex, in the middle with a narrow pit; basal auricles subparallel, obliquely lanceolate, subacute, 0.25 cm long. Column short, widened towards the apex, dorsally in the middle with a very small, conical, erect outgrowth, stelidia prolonged, rhombic. Anther subreniform-cucullate, glabrous. Ovary cylindrical, 6-ribbed, glabrous, including the pedicel c. 0.3 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Flowers brownish flesh-colour, towards the centre olive-green.

Habitat: Epiphyte on tree trunks in lower montane forest, growing in shaded positions; 1100 m.

Flowering time in the wild: September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-54M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, requires shaded position.