Malaxis fissa

Malaxis fissa (Schltr.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 80

Basionym: Microstylis fissa

Ascending, small, branching, up to 15 cm high. Rhizome elongated, stem-like; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stem elongated, ascending at the apex, leafy, terete, glabrous. Leaves patent or erect-patent, shortly petiolate; blade obliquely lanceolate, acute, with undulate margins, 1.7-3.5 cm long, below the middle 0.7-1.2 cm wide; petiole dilated at the base clasping the stem, 0.6-1 cm long. Inflorescence slender, more or less flexuose, angular, with or without 1-2 small, distant, bract-like scales; rachis rather densely many-flowered, to 6 cm long, c. 1.2 cm diam. across the flowers. Floral bracts deflexed, linear-lanceolate, acuminate, glabrous, usually a little shorter than the ovary. Flowers patent, glabrous. Sepals elliptic, obtuse, 0.3 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique. Petals obliquely linear-ligulate, obtuse, a little shorter than the sepals. Lip long-sagittate-auriculate; blade 3-lobed below the middle, 0.25 cm long, near the middle 0.35 cm wide; lateral lobes divided into four teeth, the outer one pointing outwards, almost triangular, acute, the three others filiform, 0.15-0.2 cm long; mid-lobe ovate-suborbicular, bifid to the middle, segments falcate, acute, forceps-like, overlapping; basal pit lanceolate, decurrent on the base of the mid-lobed, its margins swollen, forming a horseshoe-shaped ring; auricles obliquely lanceolate-ligulate, subacute, parallel, 0.25 cm long. Column short, rather thick, dilated in front. Ovary cylindrical, glabrous, including the pedicel c. 0.4 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Leaves on upper side greenish silvery grey. Flowers deep violet-red.

Habitat: Terrestrial in hill and lower montane forest; 450 to 1250 m.

Flowering time in the wild: April, May, June, September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-140M.JPG.

Cultivation: Warm to intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.