AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Malaxis physuroides (Schltr.) Summerh., Kew Bull. 8: 578 (1953 publ. 1954).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Microstylis physuroides Schltr., Ann. Inst. Bot.-Géol. Colon. Marseille, III, 1: 164 (1913).
Lisowskia physuroides (Schltr.) Szlach., Fragm. Florist. Geobot., Suppl. 3: 121 (1995).
Description:
Plants 15-20 cm. tall; roots villous; pseudobulbs (old) nearly recumbent, the most recent upright, cauliform (6-8 cm. x 4-5 mm.), covered with 3-4 yellowish sheaths without a limbus or with a short limbus, then by 3-4 apical leaves. Leaves widely oval-acute (3-7.5 x 2.4-4 cm.), obviously rounded-subcordate and contracted-petiolate basally. Scape longer than the leaves, the peduncle longer than the rachis, not longer than the tip of the leaves; inflorescence densely many flowered; bracts narrowly lanceolate-acute, longer than the pedicel; flowers small (4-4.5 mm. with the pedicel), red, in the entire inflorescence. Sepals ovalobtuse 2 mm. long. Petals lanceolate-linear, slightly shorter than the sepals. Labellum suborbicular (a slight 2 mm. long and wide), with 2 obtuse auricles, long and embracing the column; provided basally with a single callus, above and below the center. Column short (0.6 mm.). Anther wider than tall, truncate behind, angular-obtuse in front. Pedicel glabrous, generally 2.5 mm. long.
Habitat:
Terrestrials on shady rocks in shady, humid places; in tropical humid forests, from 400-700m. alt.; flowering: February-April.
Distribution:
N. & NE. Madagascar

Images:
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Botanical Drawing / Herbarium
Malaxisphysuroides
Photograph copyright Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz Image used with kind permission.