E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Malaxis diphyllos Cham.
Aleutian adder's-mouth orchid
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10746)

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Distribution of Malaxis diphyllos
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from bulblike bases (corms) to 1 cm across, with a few fibrous roots; stems 10-30 cm tall, leafless, smooth, pale green.
Two, sometimes 3, almost opposite, oblong-elliptic, 2-10 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, yellow-green, the sheathing stalk 2-3 cm long.
Inflorescence a densely-flowered, terminal spikelike raceme, the flowers small, yellowish, the flower stalks twisted, to 4.5 mm long; bracts about 2 mm long, 0.5 mm wide, lanceolate; sepals 1-2.5 mm long, the middle sepal narrowly egg-shaped, the lateral 2 lanceolate, somewhat curved behind the lip; petals 1-2 mm long, linear, bent back, pointed at tips; lip erect, 2.5 mm long, 2 mm wide, triangular, the base heart-shaped, the tip beaked; column less than 1 mm long.
Capsules, ellipsoid, to 5 mm long, 3 mm wide.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist forests and streambanks in the montane zone; rare, known only from the Queen Charlotte Islands; N to AK.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Malaxis monophyllos var. diphyllos (Cham.) Luer

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References