duck bill orchid, large tongue orchid
Malaxis subulata Labill., Cryptostylis longifolia R.Br.
Vascular – Native
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
2n = 64
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley.
2012 | Non-resident Native – Coloniser | Qualifiers: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Non-resident Native – Coloniser | Qualifiers: SO
2004 | Non-resident Native – Coloniser
Indigenous. In New Zealand only known from swamps north of Kaitaia and Coopers Beach. Abundant in Australia where it is known from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania
Coastal to lowland peat bogs and associated slowly flowing streams and lakes. Often found growing amongst Baumea Gaudich. and Schoenus L.
Stout terrestrial orchid of peat bogs and lake margins. Leaves 1-3; petioles 10-190 mm long; lamina 30-180 x 13-40 mm, narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblong-elliptic, light to dark green on both surfaces, apex acute, base cuneiform to tapering. Flowering stem 0.25-1 m tall; sheathing bracts 3-5, distant. Flowers 5-12, pedicellate; pedicel + ovary 15-20 mm long; sepals and petals yellow-green, stiffly spreading , linear to very narrowly deltoid, margins inrolled; sepals 22 mm long; petals 13 mm long. Labellum 20-25 mm long, oblong, red-brown, acute, margins at centre rolled back, often overlapping or meeting, resulting in a constriction at that point within the labellum, concave near anther, elsewhere convex, keeled towards tip by 2 more or less bearded ridges, and 2 finer parallel ones, all four lines terminating in a conspicuous red-brown, 2-lobed, glandular boss near apex.
None in New Zealand
September - May
November - June
Minute spores are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Should not be removed from the wild. However, rather easily grown in a peat filled pot kept partially submerged in a tub of water, or in a suitably permanently damp, peaty, sunny spot in the garden.
Plant collectors and wetland destruction remain continual problems within the New Zealand part of its range.
cryptostylis: From the Greek cryptos (hidden) and stylos (style) which refers to the very short column which is obscured by the basal lobes of the labellum.
subulata: From the Latin subulam ‘awl’, meaning awl-shaped
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970)
References and further reading
Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.
Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309