Malaxis distans

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

Basionym: Microstylis distans

Terrestrial, long creeping, 23-30 cm high. Rhizome slender, elongated, covered with clasping, distant sheaths, rooting; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stems erect, c. 10 cm apart, sheathing at the base, c. 3-leaved towards the apex, terete, glabrous, rather thick, 5-7 cm high. Leaves erect-patent, petiolate; blade ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, at the base rounded, glabrous on both sides, with undulate margins, 4-9 cm long, below the middle 2-4 cm wide; petiole broad, sheathing at the base, 2-3 cm long. Inflorescence straight or nearly so, slightly angular, with a few small distant, bract-like scales, glabrous; rachis rather densely many-flowered, cylindrical, up to 12 cm long, c. 2.5 cm diam. across the flowers. Floral bracts deflexed, lanceolate, acuminate, almost as long as the ovary . Flowers patent. Sepals oblong, obtuse, glabrous. Median sepal 0.7 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique, a little shorter and broader. Petals narrowly ligulate, obtuse, oblique, glabrous, about as long as the lateral sepals. Lip crescent-shaped-sagittate, rounded in front, margins crenulate-dentate, at the elongated into an oblong, 0.15 cm long, notched, almost forceps-like lobed, from the base to the base of the apical lobe 0.6 cm long, at the base 0.8 cm wide; pit orbicular somewhat concave, with thickened margins; basal auricles triangular, subobtuse, 0.4 cm long, subparallel. Column short, rather thick. Anther reniform-cucullate, obtuse. Ovary cylindrical, 6-ribbed, glabrous, including the pedicel 0.9 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Flowers green.

Habitat: Terrestrial in montane forest; 2000 m.

Flowering time in the wild: November.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-122M.JPG.

Cultivation: Cool growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.