Malaxis unifolia Michaux [Malaxis bayardi]

Microstylis ophioglossoides (Muhlenburg) Nuttall
Green Adder's Mouth
Location Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba.
Specific Habitat

Variety of habitats from dry hilltops to moist swamps, under open sun to dense shade. Mixed and Deciduous Regions. In Ottawa District, most often encountered in thin sandy soil on open or partially shaded Precambrian knolls, on expanses of flat-lying sandstone, or in recently disturbed, open areas of mesic sand amongst sparse vegetation. Most habitats are sandy and acidic.
Rare in Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula Region but occurring on elevated hummocks of sphagnum or dryish stumps and logs in cedar and spruce swamps or in sterile sandy spots where grape ferns (Botrychium) thrive.

Flowering Season Mid June to mid August..
Description

Height to 20 cm. Stem bright green erect, smooth.
Leaf solitary, sheathing the bottom half of the stem, abruptly flaring.
Raceme cylindric, elongated in lower part.
Flowers rich green, lip at first uppermost, becoming lowermost at maturity.

Comments

Distinguished from others in its genus by its flat-topped, finger-thick raceme of extremely small blooms. A single raceme may have fifty tiny flowers but only three or four will produce seeds.. Upon fertilization of the flowers and consequent setting of the fruit, vegetative growth resumes and leaf increases noticeably in size.

References

Orchids of Ontario
The Canadian Field-Naturalist Vol III - 1
The Orchids of Bruce & Grey

Habitat Plant Flower

© Royal Botanical Gardens, Dr. Donald Gunn Image Collection.