Malaxis leucodon

Malaxis leucodon (Schltr.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 81

Basionym: Microstylis leucodon

Terrestrial, small, c. 10-14 cm high. Rhizome very short; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stem usually very short, 4-6-leaved. Leaves erect-patent, petiolate; blade subfalcate, elliptic-lanceolate, acute or subacute, at the base cuneate, glabrous, 4.5-8.5 cm long, near the middle 1.1-2.1 cm wide, petiole at the base slightly dilated, sheathing, 1.3-2 cm long. Inflorescence straight or nearly so, with a few small bract-like scales, glabrous; rachis rather densely several-flowered, elongated, up to 7 cm long. Floral bracts deflexed, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, usually a little shorter than the ovary. Flowers patent, glabrous. Sepals oblong or ovate-oblong, obtuse, 0.35 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique. Petals obliquely linear, obtuse, a little shorter than the sepals. Lip very strongly sagittate, in front 3-lobed, 0.3 cm long, between the apices of the lateral lobes 0.45 cm wide; lateral lobes triangular, subacute, near the base of the mid-lobe on either side with a subulate, lanceolate tooth; mid-lobe rounded, forceps-like bifid with falcate segments, with a horseshoe-shaped a thickening from the base of the lip to the base of the mid-lobe; auricles parallel, obliquely lanceolate-ligulate, subacute, 0.35 cm long. Column short, rather thick. Anther reniform-cucullate, in front subacute. Ovary with pedicel glabrous, 6-ribbed, 0.6 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Leaves deep reddish green. Sepals and petals deep carmine red, front margin of the midlobe and teeth of lateral lobes whitish yellow.

Habitat: Terrestrial in lower montane forest; 1000 m.

Flowering time in the wild: October, December.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-212M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.