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Flora of Taiwan | Family List | Orchidaceae

Malaxis Soland. ex Sw.


Terrestrial or rarely epiphytic herbs. Stems solitary or tufted, slender or rather thick and fleshy, producing new shoots at base or from various positions toward apex, sometimes without stem but with pseudobulbs. Leaves one or more, radical or cauline, often ovate, usually oblique at base and continuous to sheath, fleshy or membranaceous, sometimes plicate, margin entire, flat or wavy-crisped. Inflorescences terminal, racemes; bracts narrowed, often reflexed. Flowers numerous, green or purple, not resupinate; sepals spreading or reflexed; petals usually much narrower than sepals; lip adnate to base of column, consisting of a narrow apical part and a broad, +/- auriculate base, apical part often lobed or toothed, base sometimes with auricles stretching backwards and surrounding column; disc often shallowly concave at base; column very short, with distinct arms apically; anther terminal or subdorsal, incumbent or more or less erect, 2-celled; pollinia 4, waxy, oblong or somewhat clavate, often connate into pairs in each cell, without caudicle and viscidium; stigma entire, often narrow and slit-like; rostellum not protruding.

More than 300 species, cosmopolitan, chiefly in tropical and subtropical areas. Seven species in Taiwan.


1 Plants with distinct ovoid or globose pseudobulbs; leaves 1 or 2, radical or basal, not plicate.   (2)
+ Plants with slender or stout fleshy stem, without distinct pseudobulbs; leaves 2 or more, more or less plicate.   (3)
2 (1) Leaves 1 or 2 (one large and one small), elliptic to ovate-elliptic; lip without lateral lobes at base.   Malaxis monophyllos
+ Leaf solitary, cordate;lip with linear lateral lobes at base.   Malaxis microtatantha
3 (1) Base of lip truncate or cordate, without distinct spreading auricles.   (4)
+ Base of lip extending backward into distinct triangular-falcate auricles surrounding both sides of column.   (5)
4 (3) Lip cordate, apex obtuse, not lobed; disc with a pair of short keels at base.   Malaxis ramosii
+ Lip ovate-triangular, 3-lobed at apex; disc with a walled cavity near base.   Malaxis latifolia
5 (3) Stem slender, creeping near base, producing new shoots from middle; lip with acute teeth on both sides of apical lobe   Malaxis bancanoides
+ Stem erect, producing new shoot near base; lip without acute teeth on both sides of apical lobe.   (6)
6 (5) Dorsal sepal 2.5-3 mm long, 1.5-1.7 mm wide; apical lobe of lip shallowly 2-lobulate for 1/5-1/4 of its length.   Malaxis matsudai
+ Dorsal sepal 5-6 mm long, 2.5 mm wide; apical lobe of lip usually deeply 2-lobulate for 4/5 its length.   Malaxis purpurea

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


Related Objects  

Flora of China  
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