Malaxis bayardii Fern.

Bayard's adder's-mouth

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Bayard's adder's-mouth is a restricted endemic of northern and central states of the east coast, including southern New Engand. It inhabits dry, sandy fields and heaths. A small, inconspicuous species, Bayard's adder's-mouth has tiny, green flowers held on a short, cylindrical spike.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields, shrublands or thickets, woodlands

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Number of leaves on stem
  • one
  • two
Form of lower petal
the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
Lower petal outline
the labellum is lobed but not fringed
Main color of lower petal
  • green to brown
  • yellow
Nectar spur
there are no nectar spurs on the flower
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
Lower petal characteristics
the labellum is lobed
Lower petal length
1.8–2.5 mm
Sepal length
1.4–2 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower bract length
    0.9–1.6 mm
    Flower petal color
    • green
    • yellow
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • August
    • July
    • June
    Flowers per inflorescence
    10–70
    Form of lower petal
    the labellum does not have a pouch-like shape
    Hairs on flower stalk
    the flower stalk has no hairs on it
    Hairs on inflorescence axis
    the main stem of the inflorescence is hairless
    Inflorescence length
    10–120 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
    Labellum position
    the labellum is in the lower position on the flower
    Length of flower stalk
    3.4–5.8 mm
    Length of narrowed base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0.8–1.1 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    the labellum is lobed
    Lower petal length
    1.8–2.5 mm
    Lower petal outline
    the labellum is lobed but not fringed
    Lower petal strongly red-veined
    no
    Main color of lower petal
    • green to brown
    • yellow
    Nectar spur
    there are no nectar spurs on the flower
    Nectar spur length
    0 mm
    Number of stamens
    1
    Orientation of side petals
    • the lateral petals are angled steeply upwards
    • the lateral petals slant outward
    • the lateral petals slant somewhat downward
    Self-pollinating flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on this plant
    Sepal length
    1.4–2 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spots on lower petal
    no
    Spur opening membrane
    NA
    Spur opening shape
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Seed capsule orientation
    • the capsule bends downwards or hangs downwards
    • the capsule points upwards or is angled outwards
  • Growth form
    Plant green or not
    the plant is chlorophyllous (it has green parts)
    Roots
    the rhizomes do not resemble coral
    Underground organs
    • the plant has one or more swollen storage organs underground, such as bulbs, tubers or corms
    • there are only slender roots on the plant
  • Leaves
    Bract relative length
    the bract is shorter than the associated flower
    Features of leaves
    the leaf does not have any of the mentioned special features
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade edges
    the edges of the leaf blade have no teeth
    Leaf blade length
    17–70 mm
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    1.6–2.4
    Leaf blade shape
    the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade width
    7–43 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of leaves on stem
    • one
    • two
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    • Rhode Island
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • shrublands or thickets
    • woodlands

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Connecticut
historical (S-rank: SH), special concern, extirpated (code: SC*)
Massachusetts
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Rhode Island
historical (S-rank: SH), state historical (code: SH)
Vermont
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Malaxis unifolia:
basal auricles of labellum 0.4–1.1 mm long, less than 0.6 times as long as labellum, and pedicels mostly 5–10 mm long (vs. M. bayardii, with basal auricles of labellum 0.8–1.1 mm long, 0.6 or more times as long as labellum, and pedicels mostly 3.4–5 mm long).

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Malaxis

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Malaxis bayardii Fern. NC

Bayard’s adder’s-mouth. CT, MA, RI. Woodlands with Pinus and Quercus, dry sandy fields, and among heaths in well-drained soils. This species is reported from VT (Catling and Magrath 2002) based on 16 Jul 1918, Smart s.n. ( CONN!). The specimen is a late collection with a few-flowered inflorescence that has shed its flowers and fruits, leaving only empty pedicels on 
the herbarium sheet. Given that the specimen is equivocal and is highly disjunct from the other New England populations, it 
is not considered a reliable voucher.