Family Orchidaceae Subfamily Epidendroideae Tribe Malaxideae

Family Orchidaceae Subfamily Epidendroideae Tribe Malaxideae

Malaxideae Lindl., Coll. Bot., App. (1821). Type genus: Malaxis Sw.

Terrestrials or epiphytes, autotrophic or rarely mycoheterotrophic, herbaceous. Rhizomes usually creeping. Roots with a velamen. Stem cylindric to swollen and cormous, or pseudobulbs. Leaves 1 to several, thin-textured to fleshy, plicate or conduplicate; dorsoventrally or bilaterally flattened, rarely terete, alternate or distichous, rarely reduced to scale leaves; leaf sheath present; blade articulate or not. lnflorescence terminal, racemose or subumbellate, not branched, flowers in spirals, whorls or distichous, glabrous or hairy; peduncle and rachis cylindric to winged or angled; floral bracts usually lanceolate, persistent. Flowers thin-textured, resupinate or seemingly not resupinate (turned 360°), often translucent. Ovary cylindrical, rarely papillose. Sepals free or sometimes the lateral sepals connate, entire, usually spreading. Petals free, often smaller than the sepals, linear, often reflexed. Lip entire to lobed, recurved, without a spur, usually with a callus of ridges or mounds; the base often with auricles. Column often winged at the apex, less often with lateral or basal wings; column foot absent; anther terminal or subdorsal, 2­celled, mobile; pollinia 4 in 2 pairs, laterally compressed, often unequal in size, rarely 2 and then deeply divided; viscidium absent or with 1 or 2 minute viscidia; stigma entire; rostellum flap-like, often emarginate, rarely elongate. Fruit fusiform to suborbicular.
(after Cribb 2005)

Tribe Malaxideae consists of 13 genera widely distributed in the Old and New World tropics and subtropics, with a few representatives extending into North Temperate regions.

  • Cameron, K L. Leave it to the leaves: a molecular phylogenetic study of Malaxideae (Epidendroideae, Orchidaceae). American Journal of Botany 92 (2005) 1025-1032.
  • Cribb, P.J. Tribe Malaxideae. In A.M. Pridgeon, P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (edit.), Genera Orchidacearum Vol. 4. Epidendroideae (Part one) (2005) 453.
  • Dressler, R.L. The orchids: natural history and classification (1981).
  • Dressler, R.L. Phylogeny and classifcation in the orchid family (1993)
  • Margonska, H.B. & Szlachetko, D.L. Disticholiparis Marg. & Szlach. Eine neue Gattung der Subtribus Malaxidinae. Orchidee (Hamburg) 55 (2004) 178.
  • Ridley, H. N. A revision of the genera Microslylis and Malaxis. J. Linn. Soc., Bot., 24 (1888) 308-351.
  • Schlechter, R. Die Orchidaceen von Deutsch Neu-Guinea. Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1911) 1-1079.
  • Schlechter, R. Microstylis. Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 53 (1915) 3-5, 558.
  • Seidenfaden, G. Malaxis Sol. ex Sw: Dansk Botanisk Arkiv 33 (1978) 42-85.
  • Senghas, K. H. 42. Subtribus Liparidinae Lindl. ex Miq. in Rudolf Schlechter, Die Orchideen, 3rd ed. (edit. K. H. Senghas), Suppl. 1C (2002) 2710-2721.
  • Smith, J.J. Neue Orchideen des Malalschen Archipels 3. Bull. Dép. Agric. Ind. Néerl. 22 (1909) 1-51.
  • Smith, J.J. Die Orchideen von Niederländisch New Guinea 3. Nova Guinea 12 (1913) 1-108.
  • Smith, J.J. lcones Orchidacearum Malayensium. Mededeelingen Rijks Herbarium Leiden 2 (1930) t. 1-50.
  • Szlachetko, D.L. & Margonska, H.B. Gymnostemia orchidalium II. Acta Botanica Fennica 173 (2002) 1-275.
  • Family Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Malaxideae

Tribe Malaxideae in New Guinea contains 4 genera:



1a. Leaves bilaterally flattened, rarely terete == 2
1b. Leaves dorsoventrally flattened == 3

2a. Rhizome elongate. Column slender == Hippeophyllum
2b. Rhizome short or absent, rarely elongate. Column very short == Oberonia

3a. Plants mycoheterotrophic, without chlorophyll. Leaves reduced to scale leaves == Liparis sect. Aphyllum
3b. Plants autotrophic, with chlorophyll. Leaves well developed == 4

4a. Column elongate, incurved-club-shaped, much longer than the anther. Lip media strongly recurved. Flowers resupinate == Liparis
4b. Column short, massive, not incurved. Lip not recurved. Flowers usually not resupinate == Crepidium

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