Malaxis abieticola Salazar & Soto Arenas

Arizona Adder's Mouth Orchid, Slender Flowered Malaxis

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Malaxis tenuis, Microstylis tenuis.

Malaxis abieticola, the Arizona Adder's Mouth Orchid, can be found at high elevations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. This orchid produces a single leaf and a cylindrical inflorescence of several tiny, very narrow green flowers. The green labellum has an arrowhead shape with 4 dark green stripes. At the base of each petiole is a small triangular bract. Malaxis abieticola can be found in mossy and grassy areas in fir woodlands and hillsides and near the edges of meadows.

Malaxis abieticola is considered globally secure because it is common in Mexico, although it is rare in Arizona, and perhaps known from only a single location in New Mexico. Many of the Arizona populations are protected by wilderness areas, but the New Mexico location is threatened by logging.


This orchid is pollinated by fungus gnats and gall gnats.

Ecosystem Type

Alpine or subalpine zones, forests, meadows, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
Number of leaves on stem:
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
green to brown
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
3–4.2 mm
Sepal length:
4–6 mm
Plant height:
11–25 cm
Show All Characteristics

Native to North America


North American Conservation Status & Distribution

Conservation Status

Select a location to view conservation status:

Conservation and Wetland Status
Global Rank Apparently Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data