Malaxis curvatula

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

Basionym: Microstylis curvatula

Epiphytic, almost stemless, very small, 4.5-6 cm high. Rhizome very short; roots flexuose, elongated, puberulous. Stem very short, often almost absent. Leaves 2-4, erect-patent or erect, obliquely elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, acute or subacuminate with a slender minute apiculum, at the base gradually narrowed into the short petiole; blade 2.5-5.5 cm long, near the middle 1.2-2.2 cm wide; petiole dilated at the base, clasping the stem, 0.5-1 cm long. Inflorescence usually not surpassing the leaves, lightly curved; peduncle slender, usually without scales; rachis laxly 5-9-flowered, to 3 cm long. Floral bracts ovate, acuminate, clasping, about half as long as the ovary, patent. Flowers patent, subsecund, glabrous. Sepals ovate, obtuse. Median sepal 0.4 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique, 0.35 cm long. Petals obliquely linear, subobtuse, almost as long as the lateral sepals. Lip in outline elliptic-sagittate, 0.3 cm long [excluding the auricles], at the base 0.35 cm wide, in front broadly ovate, apiculate, with a narrowly oblong basal swelling vanishing towards the apex and in the middle with a deep and narrow pit; basal auricles falcate-lanceolate, acute, at the apex approaching each other, 0.3 cm long. Column short, rather thick, dorsally in the middle with a very small, conical, obtuse outgrowth; stelidia falcate-prolonged, oblique. Anther ovate-cucullate, obtuse, slightly cordate. Ovary cylindrical, 6-ribbed, glabrous, 0.5 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Flowers orange-yellow, column at the apex deep bluish green.

Habitat: Epiphyte on thin tree trunks in lower montane forest, growing in shaded positions; 1000 m.

Flowering time in the wild: March.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-106M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, requires shaded position.