Malaxis brachyodonta

Malaxis brachyodonta (Schltr.) C.Schweinf., Bernice P. Bishop Mus. Bull. 141 (1936) 21

Basionym: Microstylis brachyodonta

Terrestrial, erect, 20-25 cm high. Rhizome short; roots elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stem very short, usually almost absent, 3-4-leaved. Leaves erect-patent, petiolate; blade ovate or ovate-elliptic; acute, 4-6.5 cm long, near the middle 1.7-3.2 cm wide, glabrous; petiole dilated at the base, sheathing, 1.2-2.5 cm long. Inflorescence straight or nearly so, angular, with a few small, distant, bract-like scales; rachis densely many-flowered, elongated, up to 13 cm long. Floral bracts deflexed, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, usually as long as the ovary. Flowers patent, glabrous. Sepals ovate, obtuse, c. 0.3 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique. Petals narrowly ligulate, obtuse, a little shorter than the sepals. Lip in outline suborbicular, auriculate; blade 3-lobed below the middle, c. 0.25 cm long, below the middle 0.3 cm wide; lateral lobes with 5 teeth, the outer one inconspicuous, broadly obtuse, the other four short, obliquely triangular, subacute, equal sized; mid-lobe short, bifid at the apex, the segments partly overlapping; with a double basal keel that soon vanishes towards the apex, pit oblong, short, with raised margins, at the base of the mid-lobe with a triangular, small, obtuse callus; basal auricles falcate-oblong, obtuse, clasping the column and with their apices partly overlapping, 0.1 cm long. Column short, somewhat thickened. Anther suborbicular-cucullate, obtuse. Ovary with pedicel glabrous, 6-ribbed, 0.3 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Leaves shiny dark violet-red. Flowers violet-red, tips of the sepals yellowish, anther white.

Habitat: Terrestrial in lower montane forest; 1100 m.

Flowering time in the wild: October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-55M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.