Malaxis wendtii Salazar

Wendt's Adder's Mouth

Facts About

Accepted Synonym: Tamayorkis wendtii.

Malaxis wendtii or Wendt's Adder's Mouth Orchid, grows in Mexico and reaches its northern limit in the Big Bend area of Texas. This orchid has a single leaf that appears one third of the way up the feathery stem with numerous tiny blooms. The flowers are deep maroon or greenish maroon with thread-like petals that are strongly recurved and the labellum is linear with broad auricles at the base. Tiny hairs cover the upper surfaces of the petals, sepals and lip giving the flowers a velvety appearance which distinguish this orchid from M. ehrenbergii, a Mexican species that is not found in the US. Malaxis wendtii grows in oak-juniper-pinyon woodlands in moist canyons and on north-facing slopes.

Malaxis wendtii is ranked globally as imperiled, with many of the populations located in Mexico where it may be locally abundant. In Texas, it is known from only a handful of locations in the Chisos Mountains and considered extremely rare.


Pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported but flower morphology suggests fungus gnats.

Ecosystem Type

Forests, 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:
  • crimson
  • green to brown
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is simple
Labellum length:
1.8–2.3 mm
Sepal length:
1.8–2.4 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 Imperiled
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data