Native Orchid News:
The Newsletter of Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
Volume 9 Issue 1   January 2007
ISSN 1499-5476

Malaxis monophyllos var brachypoda - photo by Eugene Reimer Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
117 Morier Ave, Winnipeg MB R2M0C8

For more information contact Doris Ames at 204-947-9707 or e-mail

Annual General Meeting:
Friday, February 16, 2007, 1212 Dakota Street

Plant of the Month:
White adder's-mouth (Malaxis monophyllos var. brachypoda)


Annual General Meeting

Native Orchid Conservation Inc is holding its ninth Annual General Meeting at 7:30 pm on Friday, February 16, 2007 at the Manitoba Lawn Bowling Centre, 1212 Dakota Street in St.Vital.  Elections of three members to the board of directors will be held.  See information about the candidates later in this newsletter.  Following the election, we are pleased to have our member Yvonne Lozinski and her husband, Alan Mason give a slide presentation on the rich, natural environments and Mayan Ruin sites of Central America -- Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.  Silent auction, door prizes, and refreshments are all part of the fun.  All welcome but only members in good standing may vote in the election.  For more info or to donate something for the silent auction contact Peggy at 261-9179 (leave message) after January 27th. 

President's Report - by Doris Ames

The past year seemed to fly by and we are now making plans for the many upcoming events and activities in 2007.  I am looking forward to seeing you soon at the Annual General Meeting on February 16th.  We will start with the business meeting, which will include review and ratification of the minutes from last year's AGM, my annual NOCI activities report, and the financial report by Iris Reimer.  Then I will call upon Richard Reeves our Nomination Chair to conduct the election of directors to the NOCI board.  There are three vacancies to be filled.  Please see the prepared candidate sheet with the names of those who have agreed to stand for election.  If you think you would like to run for a position on the board, please contact Richard at 661-0879.  He will be able to answer any questions you might have.  We will accept nominations from the floor at the meeting as well.  Guests are welcome to attend but only members will be allowed to vote.  Please remember to renew your membership if you have not already done so. 

Following the business meeting we will be entertained by NOCI members Yvonne Lozinski and Alan Mason who will give a slide presentation on their recent trip to Central America.  I am really looking forward to their presentation on the natural environment and Mayan antiquities to be found in this fascinating part of the world. 

There will be a silent auction, raffle and a sale of orchid-related articles.  If you have items that you would like to donate for the Silent Auction please let Peggy know at 261-9179.  All proceeds go towards orchid conservation. 

The evening will conclude with refreshments and time for members to socialize which I always think is one of the nicest parts of NOCI meetings. 

Soon after the AGM we will give a slide presentation on our new seed bank project on Seedy Saturday, February 24, at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory.  We will discuss the protocol for this project as well as show pictures of our fieldwork and some very interesting pictures of the facilities taken recently at the Plant Gene Research Centre in Saskatoon.

Following that we looking forward to making a new slide show presentation called "Orchids - Beauty in Diversity" as part of the Manitoba Naturalist Society's Indoor Program on February 26th. 

Early in March Peggy, Eugene and Doris will travel to Regina to represent NOCI at the 8th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference. 

On March 21 we will be giving a slide presentation on Orchids and Carnivorous Plants to the Friends of Assiniboine Park, followed by the always exciting Manitoba Orchid Society Orchid Show at the Conservatory from March 23-25th.  I hope to see many of our members come out and support us at these events. 

Information on Candidates

Peggy Bainard Acheson, a graduate of the Environmental Science program at the University of Manitoba, has been a director of NOCI and its Membership Chair for eight years.  She has organized the annual Members' Night and AGM, arranging for speakers, as well as advertising and promotion.  As a field trip leader, she enjoys sharing her love of the outdoors while helping to conserve habitat for native orchids.  Peggy works full time in the environmental industry.  Her other interests include cross-country skiing, hiking, the arts, and reading. 

John E Neufeld is a lawyer and has served as a director for the past 8 years.  He has been on the constitution amendment committee and has worked with Peggy to arrange the successful Members Nights.  He is the current Vice-president.  John is a frequent field trip leader with a great interest in orchids and photography. 

Iris Reimer is a travel consultant, participates in field trips, and enjoys nature walks.  She has been a member of NOCI since 2001 and has completed 1 term as a director serving as treasurer and field trip co-ordinator.  Native plant gifts to various NOCI directors find a home in her back yard.  The bank tellers consider her well-named for making deposits to the Native Orchid account. 

Plant of the Month

White adder's-mouth (Malaxis monophyllos var. brachypoda)

By Doris Ames

The botanical name of this rare orchid comes from the Greek words "malaxis" meaning "soft" or "delicate", "monos" meaning "solitary" and "phyllos" meaning leaf, a reference to the single leaf of this species.  "Brachypoda" comes from the Greek words "brachis" meaning "short" and "podium" meaning "foot" referring to the short stalk or pedicel of the individual flowers.  The common name adder's-mouth comes from the shape of the flower or lip, which seen from above, resembles an adder's tongue. 

This little orchid is found in coniferous forests and bogs, usually on sphagnum hummocks.  It is often associated with black spruce and tamarack.  Its geographic range in Manitoba extends in a band from the extreme southeastern part of the province northwest to regions around The Pas. 

The flowering plant is 8-18cm tall with the base of each stem swollen to form a pseudobulb.  The roots are fibrous.  The single, ovate to elliptical leaf is located part way up the smooth stem with the base sheathing the stem.  The slender, tapering inflorescence, best viewed under a hand lens, has 8-30 evenly spaced, tiny, greenish-white flowers each with narrow petals and a broad lip tapered to a fine point.  The lip is lowermost unlike the Eurasian varieties that have the lip uppermost.  The whitish glow of the tiny flowers is distinctive. 

Flowering time is early to late July and the tiny flowers are believed to be pollinated by fungus gnats.  The tiny, light-brown, bead-like seed capsules are attached along the upper-third of the stem and are actually more conspicuous than the flowers. 

All three Malaxis species may often be found growing together and blooming at the same time.  If you locate one of the three species, have a look around for the others.  One occasionally finds a white adder's mouth plant with a second smaller leaf almost directly opposite to the normal one.  It is almost impossible to distinguish an immature white adder's-mouth from an immature heart-leaved twayblade under those circumstances.  But these kinds of difficulties simply add to the challenge of identifying this elusive little boreal forest orchid.