Malaxis oreocharis

Malaxis oreocharis (Schltr.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 83

Basionym: Microstylis oreocharis

Terrestrial, erect, 10-20 cm high. Rhizome very short; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stem short, 3-5-leaved. Leaves erect-patent, petiolate or subpetiolate, usually hardly oblique, lanceolate or elliptic-lanceolate, acute, at the base cuneate, narrowed into a more or less distinct petiole; blade 4-8 cm long, below the middle 1.5-2.7 cm wide; petiole dilated at the base, sheathing, 1-2.5 cm long. Inflorescence slender, straight or nearly so, with or without a few minute bract-like scales, angular, glabrous; rachis laxly 7-20-flowered, up to 10 cm long. Floral bracts deflexed, lanceolate, acute, a little more than a third as long as the ovary. Flowers patent, glabrous. Sepals oblong, obtuse. Median sepal 0.5 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique, a little shorter. Petals obliquely linear, obtuse, subfalcate, almost as long as the lateral sepals. Lip at the base with long auricles, above the middle 3-lobed, 0.35 cm long, near the middle 0.4 cm wide; lateral lobes tridentate, with the outer tooth very short and triangular, the inner teeth falcate-subulate, acute, distinctly longer; mid-lobe semiorbicular, in front shallowly notched, a little surpassing the inner teeth of the lateral lobes. Lip in the centre with a constricted pit with thickened basal and lateral margins, which extends from the base of the lip to the middle of the mid-lobe; auricles triangular, subobtuse, 0.2 cm long. Column short, rather thick. Anther subreniform, obtuse. Ovary with a slender pedicel, 6-ribbed, ribs slightly undulate, including the pedicel c. 0.8 cm long, glabrous. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Leaves shiny metallic deep violet. Flowers yellowish with pale reddish spots.

Habitat: Terrestrial in lower montane forest; 1100 m.

Flowering time in the wild: July.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-304M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.