Malaxis decumbens

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

Basionym: Microstylis decumbens

Decumbent, branching from the base, up to 29 cm high. Rhizome elongated, stem-like; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stem elongated, densely leafy, terete. glabrous, ascending at the apex. Leaves erect-patent, petiolate; blade obliquely elliptic or ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, 4-6 cm long, at or below the middle 1.5 to 2.5 cm wide, margins usually slightly undulate; petiole dilated at the base, sheathing, 1-1.5 cm long. Inflorescence slender, erect, straight or nearly so, angular, with 1-2 small, distant, bract-like scales, glabrous; rachis rather laxly many-flowered, elongated, up to 13 cm long, c. 1 cm diam. across the flowers. Floral bracts deflexed, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, almost as long as the ovary. Flowers patent, glabrous. Sepals oblong, obtuse, 0.2 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique. Petals obliquely linear-ligulate, obtuse, a little shorter than the sepals. Lip sagittate-auriculate; blade near the middle 3-lobed, 0.15 cm long, at the base 0.2 cm wide; lateral lobes split into four falcate-subulate, acute teeth, the outer tooth half as long as the others; mid-lobe semiorbicular, very small, at the apex shortly notched, not surpassing the teeth of the lateral lobes; basal pit oblong, decurrent towards the middle of the lip, margins horseshoe-shaped-thickened; auricles obliquely triangular, subparallel, subobtuse, 0.1 cm long. Column short, thickened, at the apex somewhat dilated. Anther reniform-cucullate, obtuse. Ovary and pedicel glabrous, cylindrical, 6-ribbed, 0.3-0.4 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Flowers yellow or light wine-red. In plants with wine-red flowers the stems and the main veins on the underside of the leaves are also wine-red.

Habitat: Terrestrial in lowland forest; 150 m.

Flowering time in the wild: March.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea), Solomon Islands.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-112M.JPG.

Cultivation: Warm growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.