AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Malaxis madagascariensis (Klinge) Summerh., Kew Bull. 8: 578 (1953 publ. 1954).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Microstylis madagascariensis Klinge, Trudy Imp. S.-Peterburgsk. Bot. Sada 17(1): 140 (1898).
Description:
Small plant 10 – 12 cm high, on a short rhizome, the previous pseudobulb leafless. Pseudobulbs conical-cylindrical, partly covered by leaf-like bracts, with 4 – 5 leaves at the apex. Leaves oval-lanceolate, acuminate, pleated-undulate, spotted, the blade as long as the petiole, including sheath, 6 – 9 × 2 – 4 cm. Inflorescence erect, slender, angular, pale purple c. 15 cm long, with c. 30 flowers. Peduncle about 1/3 the length of the inflorescence with a few bract-like sheaths. Rachis densely racemose, pyramidal-cylindrical, elongate. Floral bracts linear-lanceolate, as long as the pedicellate ovary. Flowers not resupinate, small, c. 9 mm long, 7 mm wide, dull brownish-purple, flower buds green. Dorsal sepal broadly oblong, rounded, obtuse convex, c. 4 × 2.5 mm. Lateral sepals oblong, obtuse, convex c. 4 × 2 mm. Petals spreading, linear, shortly acute, c. 4 × 0.35 mm. Lip 3-lobed, the lobes obtuse, the lateral lobes auriculate the mid-lobe a little bigger, with the auricles at the base as long as the lobes and completely enveloping the column, mid-lobe with a rounded apex, c. 5 × 4.5 mm. Column short, wings small, obtuse.
Etymology:
Referring to the assumed country of origin.
Recognition:
Malaxis madagascariensis is a small plant with conical-cylindrical pseudobulbs, pleated undulate leaves, and a long inflorescence with up to 30 flowers. The flowers are small, non-resupinate, and have a distinctly three-lobed lip with the basal auricles surrounding the column.
Habitat:
Not known.
Distribution:
Madagascar (?)
References:
Malaxideae (Orchidaceae) in Madagascar, the Mascarenes, Seychelles and Comoro Islands Kew Bulletin volume 75, Article number: 1 (2020)
Images:
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