Prodr., 8, 119. 1788.
Herbs, terrestrial to semiepiphytic, glabrous. Roots few, fibrous, 0.3–1 mm wide. Stems swollen at base into pseudobulb, ± globose, glabrous. Leaves 1–3(–5), with sheathing base; blade elliptic, ovate, or lanceolate. Inflorescences terminal, racemes, spicate racemes, corymbose racemes, or subumbellate racemes; floral bracts inconspicuous, lanceolate, subulate, or triangular-acuminate. Flowers 2–160, resupinate or not, erect or spreading, sessile or minutely to strongly pedicellate; sepals spreading, distinct or lateral sepals basally connate, ovate, elliptic, or lanceolate, 1–6 mm, margins revolute or not; petals spreading or recurved, filiform to linear, lanceolate, or triangular, usually much narrower than sepals; lip ovate or lanceolate, cordate, unlobed to 3-lobed, concave or saccate, widest proximal to middle, base auriculate or truncate; column free; anther terminal; pollinaria 4, waxy; 1 pollinarium or 2 separate hemipollinaria; viscidia yellow or orange. Fruits capsules; previous year’s fruiting stem and capsules frequently present during current year’s anthesis. x = 14, 15, 18, ca. 20, ca. 21, 22.
Widespread, mostly in Asia and East Indies.
Species ca. 250 (10 in the flora).
|1||Leaves 2–3(–5).||> 2|
|1||Leaves 1(–2, rarely).||> 4|
|2||Lip 2.5–2.9(–4) mm, base prominently cordate-auriculate.||Malaxis spicata|
|2||Lip 1.2–2.5 mm, base truncate or cuneate.||> 3|
|3||Leaves basal; base of lip cuneate; flowers not resupinate.||Malaxis paludosa|
|3||Leaves cauline; base of lip truncate, 3-lobed, lateral lobes auriculate; flowers resupinate.||Malaxis monophyllos var. brachypoda|
|4||Lip 3-dentate at apex, middle tooth smallest, sometimes so inconspicuous that apex appears 2-dentate.||> 5|
|4||Lip unlobed (with or without single point) at apex.||> 7|
|5||Flowers apparently sessile, pedicels 1.3–1.7 mm; flowers not resupinate.||Malaxis soulei|
|5||Flowers clearly pedicellate, pedicels 3.4–10(–13) mm; flowers resupinate.||> 6|
|6||Lip with auricles 0.6 or more times as long as distance from base of lip to apex of middle lobe.||Malaxis bayardii|
|6||Lip with auricles less than 0.6 times as long as distance from base of lip to apex of middle lobe.||Malaxis unifolia|
|7||Lip base truncate with prominent, forward-directed auricles; flowers not resupinate.||Malaxis monophyllos var. monophyllos|
|7||Lip base cordate or hastate-auriculate; flowers resupinate.||> 8|
|8||Inflorescences 1.5–3 cm; pedicels crowded.||Malaxis corymbosa|
|8||Inflorescence 2.6–25 cm; pedicels not crowded.||> 9|
|9||Sepals 4–6 mm.||Malaxis abieticola|
|9||Sepals 1.8–2.4 mm.||> 10|
|10||Sepals glabrous, not papillose; apex of lip broadly acuminate, auricles at base narrow and parallel.||Malaxis porphyrea|
|10||Sepals papillose, not glabrous; apex of lip narrowly acuminate, auricles at base broad and diverging.||Malaxis wendtii|