Malaxis porphyrea (Ridl.) Kuntze

Cochise Adder's Mouth Orchid, Purple Malaxis

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Achroanthes porphyrea, Achroanthes purpurea, Microstylis porphyrea.

Malaxis porphyrea, known commonly as Cochise Adder's Mouth Orchid or simply the Purple Malaxis, extends from northern Mexico into Arizona and New Mexico. This orchid produces a single oval leaf partway up its ridged, purple-tinged stem. The purple flowers are covered with tiny bumps not visible to the naked eye. The lateral sepals and petals arch backwards and the labellum is triangle shaped with a cream colored ridge rising at it's center. The auricles at the base of the labellum are narrow and nearly parallel. This orchid grows in damp, mossy, or grassy places and meadows in mixed oak, pine and fir forests.

Malaxis porphyrea is apparently secure across its range in Central America where it is widely scattered and locally common. However this orchid is ranked state rare in AZ and its status in NM has not been reported.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported.

Ecosystem Type

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:
  • blue to purple
  • crimson
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
18–23 mm
Sepal length:
18–24 mm
Plant height:
16–45 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