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Group of plants, less than 10 cm heigh, in Lappeenranta.Malaxis monophyllos, sääskenvalkku

Malaxis is truly unshowy plant. It has one or rarely two leaves at the base of the plant. The inflorescense is 5-25 cm (2-10") heigh and there are numerous tiny flowers. This is perhaps the smallest orchid in Finland when we think the size of a flower. The inflorescense is guite "airy" and therefore hard to find. But in extremeOccuring in Finland. close look a single flower is beautyful. This species is relative of many tropical orchids, which can be seen, as it has a pseudobulb. 

The growing-sites are usually wet, dark Alnus-bogs or similar places. The most noteable exception is Lappeenranta city, where this species grows in dry Pine-wood. Apparently the place is not as dry as it seems, and there is lot of lime in this area. Malaxis is very rare plant. In Europe it is becoming increasingly rare as its habitats are dried. Fortunately we still have this species in many places in Finland, the few places it grows in Helsinki, our capital, are well worth mentioning . 

Malaxis is protected in whole country, including Ahvenanmaa. 

 Tiny specimen in Lappeenranta. 
 
Lappeenranta. 
 
Specimen with old seed-stalks. In Lappeenranta they apparently pollinate well. 
 

Little longer specimen. Lappeenranta.

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 These pages has been made and updated by Matti Niissalo, sophronitis@yahoo.com