Malaxis monophyllos var. brachypoda - (Gray) F. Morris & Eames
White Adder's-mouth Orchid
Other English Common Names: North American White Adder's-mouth
Other Common Names: white adder's-mouth orchid
Synonym(s): Malaxis brachypoda (Gray) Fern. ;Malaxis monophyllos ssp. brachypoda (Gray) A. & D. Love
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Malaxis brachypoda (Gray) Fern. (TSN 503665)
French Common Names: malaxis à pédicelles courts
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.154834
Element Code: PMORC1R010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Orchid Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Orchidales Orchidaceae Malaxis
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Malaxis brachypoda
Taxonomic Comments: Some taxonomic treatments (e.g. Flora of North America 2002) consider this a subspecies or variety of M. monophyllos.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5T4T5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 13Oct2015
Global Status Last Changed: 13Oct2015
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: T4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Malaxis brachypoda occurs fairly frequently across the central part of its range. Populations are typically fairly small, however, and consist of clusters of a few plants scattered throughout a forested bog or wet meadow. Although this species often occurs in a vulnerable, calcareous fen habitat, much of its habitat is in somewhat isolated, undisturbed areas.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4N5 (13Oct2015)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alaska (SNR), California (S1), Colorado (S1), Connecticut (S1), Illinois (S1), Indiana (SNR), Maine (S1), Massachusetts (S1), Michigan (SNR), Minnesota (S3), New Hampshire (SH), New Jersey (SH), New York (S4), Pennsylvania (S1), Tennessee (SNR), Texas (SNR), Vermont (S2S3), Washington (S1), Wisconsin (S3)
Canada Alberta (S3), British Columbia (S3S4), Manitoba (S2?), New Brunswick (S1), Newfoundland Island (S3), Nova Scotia (S1), Ontario (S4), Prince Edward Island (S1), Quebec (S3), Saskatchewan (S1S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Malaxis brachypoda occurs from Alaska southeast across Canada to Newfoundland and south to New Jersey (historical), Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota. It is disjunct in Colorado and California (Kartesz 1999).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Occurs in 3 cos. in CO; 20 in NY; common in MI. Extant at 5 sites in MA (MAHP 1996); 3 in ME; 20 in MN; 9 in British Columbia; and recorded from 70 sites in Ontario. Uncommon in NH, VT, CT, PA (14 historic EOs), WI (approximately 26 EOs, with 15-20 historic), and CA. Not tracked in the central portion of its range, where it is most abundant, including MI, NY, and Ontario. Occurs fairly commonly in white cedar fens, forested bogs, and wet meadows from MI to AK (Case pers. comm. 1996). Likely more common in British Columbia than has yet been discovered (Douglas 1996). The NY distribution map for Malaxis brachypoda is based on historic occurrences; the number of extant occurrences in NY is therefore uncertain (Sheviak pers. comm. 1996).

Population Size Comments: Malaxis brachypoda occurs fairly frequently across the central portion of its range, but most populations consist of clusters of only a few plants scattered across a forested wetland or wet meadow. Because this species is small, easily overlooked, and easily confused with M. unifolia, it may be more abundant in some areas than has been realized (Dobberpuhl pers. comm. 1996).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Malaxis brachypoda is threatened primarily by clear-cutting in its habitat of calcareous, white cedar fens. This plant is threatened generally by habitat disturbance, including development, road building, and wetland ditching. Because M. brachypoda typically occurs in remote areas, however, its populations are generally stable.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Relatively stable at present. This plant primarily occurs in undisturbed, forested bogs and wet meadows in fairly remote areas. In the United States at the southern edge of its range, this plant has declined within the last century. Several states (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin) have more historic than extant populations, while New York's estimate of abundance for this species is based entirely on historic herbarium records.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Vulnerable to disturbance of its wetland habitats.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Malaxis brachypoda occurs from Alaska southeast across Canada to Newfoundland and south to New Jersey (historical), Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota. It is disjunct in Colorado and California (Kartesz 1999).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, CA, CO, CT, IL, IN, MA, ME, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, TX, VT, WA, WI
Canada AB, BC, MB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Riverside (06065)*, San Bernardino (06071)
CO Boulder (08013)*, El Paso (08041)*, Jefferson (08059), Teller (08119)*
CT Litchfield (09005)
MA Berkshire (25003), Franklin (25011), Hampshire (25015)*
ME Androscoggin (23001)*, Aroostook (23003)*, Cumberland (23005)*, Franklin (23007)*, Kennebec (23011)*, Oxford (23017)*, Penobscot (23019)*, Piscataquis (23021)*, Somerset (23025)*, Washington (23029)*, York (23031)*
MN Aitkin (27001), Becker (27005), Beltrami (27007), Carlton (27017), Cass (27021), Clearwater (27029), Crow Wing (27035), Douglas (27041), Hubbard (27057), Itasca (27061), Koochiching (27071), Lake of the Woods (27077), Mille Lacs (27095)*, Morrison (27097)*, Otter Tail (27111), Pine (27115), Polk (27119), Roseau (27135), St. Louis (27137), Wadena (27159)
NH Coos (33007)*, Grafton (33009)*, Strafford (33017)*
NJ Sussex (34037)*
PA Blair (42013)*, Bradford (42015)*, Crawford (42039)*, Erie (42049)*, Pike (42103)*, Susquehanna (42115)*, Warren (42123)
VT Addison (50001), Caledonia (50005), Chittenden (50007), Franklin (50011), Grand Isle (50013), Lamoille (50015)*, Orange (50017), Orleans (50019), Rutland (50021), Washington (50023)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Upper St. John (01010001)+*, Fish (01010003)+*, Aroostook (01010004)+*, Meduxnekeag (01010005)+*, Mattawamkeag (01020003)+*, Upper Kennebec (01030001)+*, Lower Kennebec (01030003)+*, Lower Androscoggin (01040002)+*, St. Croix (01050001)+*, Maine Coastal (01050002)+*, Presumpscot (01060001)+*, Saco (01060002)+*, Piscataqua-Salmon Falls (01060003)+*, Upper Connecticut (01080101)+*, Passumpsic (01080102)+, Upper Connecticut-Mascoma (01080104)+*, Black-Ottauquechee (01080106)+*, Middle Connecticut (01080201)+, Housatonic (01100005)+
02 Hudson-Hoosic (02020003)+*, Rondout (02020007)+*, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+*, Lackawaxen (02040103)+*, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+*, Upper Susquehanna-Tunkhannock (02050106)+*, Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna (02050107)+*, Upper Juniata (02050302)+*
04 St. Louis (04010201)+, Beartrap-Nemadji (04010301)+, Chautauqua-Conneaut (04120101)+*, Mettawee River (04150401)+, Otter Creek (04150402)+, Winooski River (04150403)+, Lamoille River (04150405)+, Missiquoi River (04150407)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+, St. Francois River (04150500)+
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001)+, Middle Allegheny-Tionesta (05010003)+*, French (05010004)+*, Shenango (05030102)+*
07 Mississippi Headwaters (07010101)+, Leech Lake (07010102)+, Prairie-Willow (07010103)+, Elk-Nokasippi (07010104)+, Pine (07010105)+, Crow Wing (07010106)+, Redeye (07010107)+, Long Prairie (07010108)+, Platte-Spunk (07010201)+*, Rum (07010207)+*, Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Kettle (07030003)+
09 Otter Tail (09020103)+, Eastern Wild Rice (09020108)+, Red Lakes (09020302)+, Clearwater (09020305)+, Roseau (09020314)+, Rainy Headwaters (09030001)+, Rainy Lake (09030003)+, Little Fork (09030005)+, Big Fork (09030006)+, Rapid (09030007)+, Lower Rainy (09030008)+, Lake of the Woods (09030009)+
10 Upper South Platte (10190002)+, St. Vrain (10190005)+*
11 Fountain (11020003)+*
18 San Jacinto (18070202)+*, Santa Ana (18070203)+, Whitewater River (18100201)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Terrestrial orchid bearing a single leaf, the base of which loosely sheaths a very slender, fragile spike of minute greenish flowers (barely larger than a typewritten asterisk); height varies from 3-4 inches to a foot tall across its range (Colorado Native Plant Soc., 1989).
Technical Description: The following description comes from Luer (1975):

Terrestrial plant, glabrous, up to 20 cm tall. ROOTS: few, fibrous. STEM: swollen at the base into a pseudobulb, up to 8 mm in diameter, concealed by leaf sheaths. LEAF: solitary, light green, ovate-elliptic, keeled beneath, up to 10x5 cm, the petiolate base sheathing the stem. INFLORESCENCE: spicate, slender, loosely flowered, up to 50 minute, greenish white flowers. FLORAL BRACT: lanceolate, about 1.5 mm long. OVARY: short pedicellate, about 2.5 mm long. DORSAL SEPAL: ovate-lanceolate, margins revolute, 2x1 mm. LATERAL SEPALS: oblong-lanceolate, oblique, 2.5x0.5 mm. PETALS: filiform, reflexed, 2 mm long. LIP: lowermost, broadly triangular, concave, 3-lobed, lateral lobes auriculate, thickened and curved upward, middle lobe ovate, acuminate, 2x2 mm spread out: disc with low thickened calli. COLUMN: short, 0.5x0.5 mm. CAPSULE: ascending ellipsoid, 5x3 mm.

From CNHP Wetland Guide 2012: Growth Habit: perennial, terrestrial, 3-30 cm. Pseudobulbs 4-8 mm diam..
Stem:
Leaves: 1(2 rarely), petiolate base sheathing stem.
Inflorescences: spicate racemes, 1-12 cm; floral bracts lanceolate, 1.5-2 mm; pedicels 2-4.5 mm.
Flowers: 5-80, resupinate (upside down due to twisting of pedicel), green or greenish white; dorsal sepal ovate-lanceolate, 1.5-2.5 × 1-1.4 mm, margins revolute, apex acuminate; lateral sepals oblong-lanceolate, slightly falcate, 1.5-2.5 × 0.5-1.2 mm, apex acuminate; petals strongly reflexed, filiform to narrowly linear-lanceolate, 1.4-2.5 × 0.3-0.4 (-0.5) mm, apex rounded; lip broadly triangular, concave, 3-lobed, middle lobe ovate, apex acuminate, lateral lobes auriculate, thickened, curved upward; disc with 2 low, thickened, elongate calli, 1.3-2.2 × 1.2-1.8(-2) mm; column 0.4-0.6 × 0.4-0.6 mm.
Fruit: capsules ascending, ellipsoid, 5 × 3 mm.

Diagnostic Characteristics: Vegetatively Malaxis brachypoda closely resembles M. unifolia, the other single-leaved species of estern North America. The most distinguishing feature is not its relatively short pedicels (as its name implies), but its lip which is lowermost in the flower, whereas the lip of M. unifolia is uppermost (Luer, 1975).

From CNHP Wetland Guide 2012: Main Characteristics:
·Leaves 1-3 near base
·Flowers in a terminal spicate raceme with inconspicuous bracts
·Tepals green or whitish-green; lip 3-lobed with central lobe longest with an acuminate tip

Habitat Comments: In the northern part of its range, Malaxis brachypoda "occurs abundantly in open wet meadows in full sun, but farther south, around the Great Lakes or New England, it seeks the cover of wooded swamps. Here it will only be found scattered in shallow mossy depressions, often around the base of trees . . . and in soggy footpaths or deer trails through the woods." (Luer 1975). Around the Great Lakes, this species typically occurs in calcareous, white cedar fens in areas with low competition from other plant species (Case pers. comm. 1996).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Mar1996
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: K. Crowley, MRO (1996)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Feb1996
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): MARTINEZ, M. (TNC-HQ).

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.


  • Batten, R. 2018. Vascular plant GeoCAT range extent and index of AOO maps supporting status assessment 2017_18 for British Columbia Conservation Data Centre. March 2018. Victoria, BC. 450 pp.

  • British Columbia Conservation Data Centre. Botany Program. 2000. Database containing records of rare plant collections and observations in the province of British Columbia.

  • Brown, P.M. 1993. A field and study guide to the orchids of New England and New York. Orchis Press, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. 246 pp.

  • Catling, P. M., and L. K. Magrath. 2002. Malaxis. Pages 627-532 in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, editors. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Volume 26. Oxford University Press, New York, New York.

  • Colorado Native Plant Society. 1989. Rare plants of Colorado. Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Colorado Native Plant Society, Estes Park, Colorado. 73 pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Penny. 2002. Rare Native Vascular Plants of British Columbia, 2nd ed. B.C. Conserv. Data Centre, Terrestrial Inf. Branch, Victoria. 358pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, eds. 2001b. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, Vol. 7, Monocotyledons (Orchidaceae through Zosteraceae). B.C. Minist. Sustainable Resour. Manage., and B.C. Minist. For. Victoria, BC. 379pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., G.B. Straley, and D. Meidinger, eds. 1998. Rare Native Vascular Plants of British Columbia. Conserv. Data Centre, Resour. Inventory Branch, B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Victoria, and B.C. Minist. For., Victoria.

  • Douglas, George. 1996. British Columbia Conservation Data Centre. Wildlife Branch, Ministry of Environment, 780 Blanshard St., Victoria, BC V8V 1X5, Canada. E-mail of March 18 to K. Crowley, MRO.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxvi + 723 pp.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxvi + 723 pp.

  • General Status 2015, Environment Canada. 2015. Manitoba vascular plant species list and proposed ranks and rank factors proposed by contractor (Diana Sawatzky).

  • Haines, A. Flora Novae Angliae. http://www.arthurhaines.com/

  • Harrington, H. D. 1954. Manual of the Plants of Colorado. Sage Books, Denver, CO. 666 pp.

  • Harrington, H.D. 1954. Manual of the plants of Colorado. Sage Press, Chicago. 666 pp.

  • Hough, M.Y. 1983. New Jersey wild plants. Harmony Press, Harmony, NJ. 414 pp.

  • Hulten, E. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford Univ. Press, Palo Alto, CA. 1008 pp.

  • Jennings, W. 1989. Final Report Colorado Natural History Small Grants Program. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Luer, C.A. 1975. The native orchids of the United States and Canada excluding Florida. New York Botanical Garden. 361 pp.

  • Manitoba Conservation Data Centre. 2018. Vascular Plant Species ranking forms from initial CDC ranking.

  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 2003. Field guide to the native plant communities of Minnesota: the Laurentian mixed forest province. Ecological Land Classification Program, Minnesota County Biological Survey, and Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul, Minnesota. 352 pp.

  • Munz, P.A. and D.D. Keck. 1959. A California Flora. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

  • Ryke, N., D. Winters, L. McMartin and S. Vest. 1994. Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Comanche and Cimarron National Grasslands. May 25, 1994.

  • Skinner, M.W., and B.M. Pavlik, eds. 1997 (1994). Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 1997 Electronic Inventory Update of 1994 5th edition, California Native Plant Society, Special Publication No. 1, Sacramento.

  • Smith, W. R. 1993. Orchids of Minnesota. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 172 pp.

  • Spackman, S., B. Jennings, J. Coles, C. Dawson, M. Minton, A. Kratz, and C. Spurrier. 1997. Colorado rare plant field guide. Prepared for Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Colorado Natural Heritage Program.

  • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

  • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Eastern Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 555 pp.

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