AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Malaxis cardiophylla (Rchb.f.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 673 (1891).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Microstylis cardiophylla Rchb.f., Flora 68: 543 (1885).
Orestias cardiophylla (Rchb.f.) Marg., Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 107B: 218 (2005 publ. 2006).
Description:
Plants glabrous, 10-18cm. tall pseudobulbs cauliform, thin (3-6 x 2-3 mm.), covered with the thin sheaths, the inferiors (2-3) without limbuses, the upper (2-3) with a developed limbus. Leaves with a short petiole (2-6 mm.), but obvious, with a thin limbus, widely cordate (2-3 x 1.6-2 cm.), slightly compressed from the center to the base, shortly acute apically and 3-5 veined (fine). Inflorescence nearly sessile, the first flower a slight 1-2 cm. above the superior leaf, very thin, 3-12 cm. long, very loose, 7-20 flowered; flowers very small (6-7 mm. with the pedicel). Sepals thin. hyaline, oblong (2.5 x 1,2 mm.) and obtuse. Petals linear (2.5 x 0.6 mm.), acule and 1 veined. Labellum slightly wider than tall (1.5 x 2 mm.) slightly crenulate marginally. provided with 2 pairs of basal calluses. Column thin, 0.8 mm. tall, bearing apically one part and the other from the rostellum an auricle (lateral lobes of the rostellum) deltoid-acute and ascending. Pedicel glabrous, 3-35mm. long.
Habitat:
Lithophytes; in tropical humid forests; flowering: February.
Distribution:
Comoros (Njazidja)