Malaxis torricellensis

Malaxis torricellensis (Schltr.) P.F.Hunt, Kew Bull. 24 (1970) 85

Basionym: Microstylis torricellensis

Epiphytic, very small, erect, 8-12 cm high. Rhizome short; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, puberulous. Stem leafy to the middle or above, up to 5 cm long. Leaves 5-9, erect-patent or patent, petiolate; blade obliquely ovate or ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, often with an apiculum, glabrous, 2-2.8 cm long, below the middle 1.4-2 cm wide, at the base usually rounded, petiole dilated at the base, sheathing, 1-2 cm long. Inflorescence erect, almost twice surpassing the leaves, carrying flowers along half its length, otherwise with very small bract-like scales, subterete; rachis rather densely 10-15-flowered, up to 5 cm long. Floral bracts reflexed, lanceolate, acute, shorter than the ovary. Flowers patent, glabrous. Median sepal ovate, obtuse, 0.35 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique and broadly elliptic, obtuse, c. 0.25 cm long. Petals obliquely linear, obtuse, as long as the lateral sepals. Lip in front semiorbicular, nearly 0.2 cm long [excluding the auricles], at the base 0.25 cm wide, apiculate, with a horseshoe-shaped rib gradually vanishing towards the apex, in the middle with a narrow pit extending from the base to just below the apex; auricles subfalcate-lanceolate, acute, towards the apex approaching each other, 0.2 cm long. Column short, broad, dorsally above the base with a very small, subulate, erect horn; stelidia elongated, in front obliquely lobulate. Anther ovate-cucullate, subcordate, obtuse. Ovary cylindrical, 6-ribbed, 0.4 cm long, glabrous. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Sepals and petals greenish yellow, lip orange-yellow, column olive-green with blue apex.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest, growing in shaded positions; 600 m.

Flowering time in the wild: September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 431-440M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, requires shaded position.