Malaxis protracta

Malaxis protracta (J.J.Sm.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 83

Basionym: Microstylis protracta

Stem at the base decumbent, rooting, ascending, after flowering branching from the upper part, to c. 20 cm long, to c. 10-leaved. Leaves obliquely ovate-lanceolate, gradually long acuminate, acute, minutely undulate, underneath with c. 3-4 prominent larger nerves, when dried membranous, 2.7-7.2 by 0.95-1.6 cm; petiole channelled, including the tubular sheath 1.6-2.3 cm long. Inflorescence laxly many-flowered, peduncle 6-7 cm long, with a single small, bract-like scale; rachis narrowly winged, to 8.75 cm long. Floral bracts reflexed, at the base convex, otherwise slightly concave, lanceolate-triangular, subacute, 1-nerved, 0.4 by 0.13 cm. Flowers widely patent, very small, slightly more than 0.4 cm long, 0.26 cm wide, with strongly recurved sepals and petals. Median sepal oblong, obtuse, strongly convex, 3-nerved, 0.26 by 0.13 cm. Lateral sepals obliquely broadly ovate, obtuse, strongly convex with a concave spot, 3-nerved, 0.23 by 0.16 cm. Petals obliquely linear-oblong, obtuse, slightly retuse, strongly convex, 1-nerved, slightly more than 0.2 cm long, 0.06 cm wide. Lip horseshoe-shaped, at the apex slightly incurved, margins at the base of the mid-lobe recurved; pit longitudinally oblong, dorsally convex, in front delimited by a V-shaped thickening, at the base with a small transverse callus, when flattened 0.4 cm long, up to the point of attachment almost 0.25 cm long, 0.3 cm wide; mid-lobe elongated, 5-angular-ovate, bidentate with the teeth obliquely triangular, slightly more than 0.1 cm long, 0.13 cm wide, contiguous, slightly overlapping, on either side with 2-3 much smaller, narrowly triangular, acute teeth as well as an obtuse lobule; basal auricles distant, obliquely triangular, parallel, narrowly obtuse, 0.15 cm long, at the base 0.1 cm wide. Column dorsally compressed, dorsally a little below the middle slightly incurved, quadrangular, towards the apex somewhat dilated, 0.13 by 0.1 cm; clinandrium semiorbicular with slightly divergent, obtuse, not truncate lobules. Anther flat-cucullate, transversely 5-angular, broadly obtuse, 0.5 mm wide. Rostellum transverse, with short, slightly broadly retuse auricles. Ovary pedicellate, 6-ribbed, 0.43 cm long. (After Smith, 1935)

Colours: Stem, underside of leaves and flowers violet.

Habitat: Terrestrial in montane forest; 1500 m.

Flowering time in the wild: October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia). See map: 431-341M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.