Malaxis histionantha (Link) Garay & Dunst. 1976 SECTION Umbellatae SERIES Umbellatae

Photo by Adam Karremans


Photo by Rodolfo Hernandez


Drawing by Dunsterville and Garay

Full shade WarmCoolEARLY Fall

Common Name or Meaning The Sail-Shaped Flower Malaxis

Flower Size .2" [5 mm]

Found in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Alajuela province of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Venezuela in grassy clearings in deciduous, pine/oak forests at elevations of 1100 to 2400 meters as a miniature to medium sized, cool to cold growing terrestrial with a bulbous stem carrying 2, elliptic, acute, shiny bright green above, duller and greyer beneath, petiolate basally and clasping leaves that blooms in the early fall on an erect, terminal, to 5.2" [13 cm] long, sub-umbellate, many flowered inflorescence.

Similar to M risraraldana and M brevis, M histionantha has obliquely oblong to elliptic-ovate, subobtuse and connate in the lower half sepals and the lip is almost orbicular to transversely elliptic, slightly wider than long with entire margins. M risaralda has obliquely triangular-ovate, acute, obscurely 3 veined and almost free to the base lateral sepals and a reniform, much wider than long with undulate margined lip. M brevis differs in the hastate in general outline lip and the basal auricles are obliquely triangular and retrorse.

Synonyms Microstylis brenesii Schltr 1923; *Microstylis histionantha Link .1840

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

Icon. Pl. Rar. 1: 11 Link 1840 as Microsylis histionantha

Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as Microstylis histionantha;

Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 167. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923 as Microstylis brenesii;

Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 168. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923 as Microstylis histionantha;

*Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated Vol 6 Dunsterville & Garay 1976 drawing fide;

Orchids of Venezuela An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 2 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 drawing fide;

Las Orquedias de El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 drawing fide/photo ok;

Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 2 COS 1991 photo fide;

Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 1451 Atwood & Mora 1992 drawing ok;

Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 2 Ramiro and Carnevali 2000 drawing fide;

Harvard Pap. Bot. 5 #2: Carnevali etal. 2001;

Orquideas Nativas del Tachira Cesar Fernandez 2003 as M hystionantha photo fide;

Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003;

Guia de Orquideas de Chiapas Carlos Rommel Beutelspacher Baigts 2013 photo good;

Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018;

Lankesteriana 19(1). 31 - 55 2019 photo fide;

Vanishing Beauty, Native Costa Rican Orchids Vol 2 Lacaena to Pteroglossa Pupulin 2020 photo fide;

Materials to the Orchid Flora of Colombia Vol IV:148 Szlatchetko & Kolanowska 2023 drawing fide