Malaxis megalantha

Malaxis megalantha (Schltr.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 82

Basionym: Microstylis megalantha

Terrestrial, long-creeping, 20-25 cm high. Rhizome slender, elongated, covered with distant, clasping sheaths, rooting; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stems c. 10 cm apart, 3-5 cm high, sheathing at the base, 3-4-leaved towards the apex. Leaves erect-patent or suberect, petiolate, obliquely elliptic or lanceolate-elliptic, acuminate, 5.5-10 cm long, at or below the middle 2.5-4 cm wide, cuneate at the base; petiole dilated at the base, sheathing, 2.5-4 cm long. Inflorescence erect, almost straight, angular, with a few small distant scales, glabrous; rachis rather densely many-flowered, up to 10 cm long, c. 2.5 cm diam. across the flowers. Floral bracts deflexed, lanceolate, acuminate, shorter than the ovary. Flowers patent, glabrous. Median sepal oblong-ligulate, obtuse, 0.9 cm long. Lateral sepals obliquely oblong, obtuse, 0.8 cm long. Petals narrowly ligulate, oblique, obtuse, at the apex minutely notched, as long as the lateral sepals. Lip in outline crescent-shaped-sagittate, 0.7 cm long, at the base 1.1 cm wide, in front on either side with six short, triangular teeth; apical lobe in outline ovate, acute, at the apex forceps-like bifid, not surpassing the lateral teeth; basal pit broadly oblong, very small, with thickened margins, with two keels decurrent on the base of the mid-lobe; auricles triangular, acute, somewhat divergent, c. 0.5 cm long. Column very short, rather thick, dilated in front. Anther broadly quadrate, rhombic, in front truncate. Ovary cylindrical, glabrous, 6-ribbed, including the pedicel 0.8 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Sepals yellowish green, lip brownish yellow.

Habitat: Terrestrial in montane forest; 800 to 2500 m.

Flowering time in the wild: February, November, December.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-253M.JPG.

Cultivation: Cool growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.