Malaxis brachypoda (A. Gray) Fernald
white adder's-mouth orchid (one-leaved malaxis)
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© David McAdoo     (Photo ID #16275)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Malaxis brachypoda
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from bulblike bases (corms) to 8 mm across, with a few fibrous roots; stems 10-20 cm tall, leafless, smooth, pale green.
One, near base, egg-shaped to elliptic, 2-10 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, light green, keeled on back, the sheathing stalk 2-3 cm long.
Inflorescence a loosely-flowered, terminal, spikelike raceme, the flowers small, greenish-white, the flower stalks about 2.5 mm long; bracts about 1.5 mm long, lanceolate; sepals 1-2 mm long, the upper erect, narrowly egg-shaped, the lateral 2 narrowly lanceolate, somewhat curved behind the lip; petals 1-2 mm long, linear, bent back, pointed at tips; lip 2 mm long and wide, drooping downward, broadly triangular, the base heart-shaped, the tip beaked; column less than 1 mm long.
Capsules, ellipsoid, erect, to 5 mm long.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Malaxis brachypoda

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
640 390 890
Slope Gradient (%)
2 2 3

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

119 50 190
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
6 6 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CWH(1), SBS(1)

Habitat and Range

Moist forests, mudflats, fens and streambanks in the lowland and montane zones; rare in coastal and N BC; N to AK, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, IN, IL, MN and disjunct in CO and CA; Japan.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Malaxis monophyllos subsp. brachypoda (A. Gray) A. Löve & D. Löve
Malaxis monophyllos var. brachypoda (A. Gray) F. Morris & Eames