Malaxis nitida

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

Basionym: Microstylis nitida

Terrestrial, erect, shiny, slender, 17-20 cm high. Rhizome stem-like, short; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stem short, terete, glabrous, 3-4-leaved. Leaves patent, petiolate; blade obliquely ovate-lanceolate or lanceolate, acute or subacuminate, glabrous, rounded at the base, 2.5-3.5 cm long, below the middle 1-1.8 cm wide; petiole dilated at the base, sheathing, 0.7-1.3 cm long. Inflorescence straight or nearly so, angular, glabrous; rachis laxly 5-10-flowered, to 5 cm long. Floral bracts deflexed, lanceolate, acuminate, shorter than the ovary. Flower patent, glabrous. Median sepal oblong, obtuse, 0.35 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique, broadly elliptic, obtuse, about as long as the median sepal. Petals linear-ligulate, obtuse, glabrous, 0.3 cm long. Lip in outline broadly rhombic, at the base long sagittate, above the middle 3-lobed, 0.3 cm long, between the apices of the lateral lobes 0.3 cm wide; lateral lobes patent, triangular, subacute; mid-lobe distinctly longer, oblong, obtuse, deeply bifid; auricles triangular-ligulate, subobtuse, parallel, 0.25 cm long. Column short, distinctly widened towards the apex. Anther subreniform-cucullate, broadly obtuse. Ovary with pedicel glabrous, 6-ribbed, 0.35 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Flowers light yellow, becoming orange-yellow with age.

Habitat: Terrestrial in lower montane forest; 800 m.

Flowering time in the wild: September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-289M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.