Malaxis breviscapa

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

Basionym: Microstylis breviscapa

Epiphytic, erect, small, 10-13 cm high. Rhizome very short; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, finely pilose. Stems thickened, short, 2-3.5 cm long, 1-1.3 cm diam., 2-3-leaved near the apex. Leaves erect-patent, petiolate; blade obliquely elliptic-ovate or elliptic-lanceolate, acuminate, glabrous on both sides, 7-12 cm long, at or below the middle 3-5.5 cm wide; petiole dilated at the base, clasping the stem, c. 1.5 cm long. Inflorescence erect, angular, distinctly shorter than the leaves; rachis densely many-flowered, elongated, up to 3.5 cm long. Floral bracts before anthesis patent, later deflexed, lanceolate, acuminate, equalling or a little surpassing the flowers. Flowers not resupinate, subpendent, glabrous. Median sepal lanceolate-ovate, obtuse, c. 0.35 cm long. Lateral sepals obliquely ovate, obtuse, 0.3 cm long. Petals obliquely lanceolate-linear, subobtuse, about as long as the lateral sepals. Lip in outline elliptic-sagittate, 0.25 cm long [excluding the auricles], at the base 0.25 cm wide, glabrous, in front with incurved margins, subobtuse, callus reniform, with parallel ridges decurrent towards the apex and vanishing below the apex; auricles falcate-triangular, subobtuse, at the apex approaching each other rather closely, c. 0.1 cm long. Column short, dilated towards the apex, dorsally below the apex with a minute recurved outgrowth. Anther broadly ovate-cordate, obtuse, dorsally with a minute hump. Ovary cylindrical, 6-ribbed, glabrous, c. 0.3 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Flowers olive-green, lip brown.

Habitat: Epiphyte on thick tree trunks in montane forest, growing in shaded positions; 1400 m.

Flowering time in the wild: November.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-64M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, requires shaded position.