Malaxis caricoides

Malaxis caricoides (Schltr.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 79

Basionym: Microstylis caricoides

Terrestrial, stout, up to 60 cm high. Rhizome short; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, finely villose. Stem rather thick, densely 10-14-leaved. Leaves linear, narrowed towards the apex, sharply acute, at the base dilated, sheathing, 18-25 cm long, near the middle 0.6-1 cm wide. Inflorescence straight or nearly so, glabrous, angular, with a few small distant, bract-like beset with. Inflorescence laxly many-flowered, elongated, up to 20 cm long. Floral bracts deflexed, narrowly lanceolate, strongly acuminate, clearly longer than the ovary. Flowers not resupinate, glabrous. Sepals broadly elliptic, strongly obtuse. Median sepal 0.7 cm long, in the middle 0.5 cm wide. Lateral sepals oblique, 0.6 cm long, in the middle 0.4 cm wide. Petals obliquely oblong, obtuse, 0.6 cm long. Lip in outline hastate, weakly 3-lobed, lateral lobes indistinct, very short, mid-lobe semiorbicular, broadly obtuse, at the base with a very small pit; basal auricles very large, suborbicular, broadly obtuse, 0.4 cm long. Column short, dorsally thinly 2-keeled, clinandrium expanded, cupular. Anther quadrate-rhombic, obtuse. Ovary very short, cylindrical, 6-ribbed, glabrous, c. 0.3 cm long, sessile. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Flowers olive-green, with a darker ‘eye’ in the centre.

Habitat: Terrestrial in humus between rocks in lower montane forest; 1200 m.

Flowering time in the wild: September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-73M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.