Malaxis spicata


Prodr., 119. 1788.

Common names: Florida adder’s-mouth
Synonyms: Achroanthes floridana (Chapman) Greene Malaxis floridana (Chapman) Kuntze Microstylis spicata (Swartz) Lindley
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 628. Mentioned on page 627.

Plants (7–)10–29(–45) cm. Pseudobulbs 5–20 mm diam. Leaves 2–3, within proximal 1/3 of stem; blade ovate, suborbiculate, or elliptic, 2.2–9(–10) × 1.4–5(–5.5) cm. Inflorescences racemes, 1.6–13(–24) cm; floral bracts triangular, 1–3 mm; pedicels 5–10 mm. Flowers 6–150, not resupinate, green with lip also green or pale yellow, brown, orange, or vermillion; dorsal sepal reflexed, ovate, 3–3.5 × 1.5–2 mm, apex acuminate; lateral sepals reflexed, elliptic or lanceolate, 2.5–3 × 1–1.5 mm, apex acuminate; petals strongly reflexed, linear, crossing behind flower, 1.5–2.5 × 0.2–0.3 mm, apex rounded; lip ovate, 2.5–2.9(–4) × 2–3.3 mm, base prominently cordate-auriculate, nearly surrounding column, apex unlobed, acute; column 0.6–1 × 0.6–1 mm; pollinia yellow. Capsules erect, ovoid, 8 × 4 mm.

Phenology: Flowering winter–early fall.
Habitat: Hammocks and swamps, sometimes semiepiphytic on tree bases
Elevation: 0–100 m


V26 1283-distribution-map.jpg

Fla., Ga., N.C., S.C., Va., n West Indies.


To some extent the lip color is dependent upon flower age. Plants bloom in Florida from August to February; in Virginia, in June, July, and August; and in Pennsylvania in September. The extent to which the different flowering times are associated with groups that differ in other respects has yet to be determined, and the nature of variation in this species deserves more study.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Malaxis spicata"
Paul M. Catling +  and Lawrence K. Magrath +
Swartz +
Florida adder’s-mouth +
Fla. +, Ga. +, N.C. +, S.C. +, Va. +  and n West Indies. +
0–100 m +
Hammocks and swamps, sometimes semiepiphytic on tree bases +
Flowering winter–early fall. +
Achroanthes floridana +, Malaxis floridana +  and Microstylis spicata +
Malaxis spicata +
species +