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Useful Temperate Plants

Malaxis muscifera

(Lindl.) Kuntze

Orchidaceae

+ Synonyms

Dienia muscifera Lindl.

Microstylis muscifera (Lindl.) Ridl.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Malaxis muscifera is a perennial, terrestrial orchid growing from a bulbous rootstock; the stem can be 10 - 30cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is an important ingredient of the herbal tonic 'Chyavanprash', a popular medication in India.
Malaxis muscifera is harvested from the wild for its roots, which form an important ingredient of the herbal formulation 'chyavanprash'. The level of exploitation is high and, in the CAMP workshop organised at Kullu in 1998 it was collectively agreed by the experts that more than 40% of the wild population in the Himalayan Region of India had declined over the previous 10 years. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

E. Asia - Himalayas of China, Pakistan, India, Nepal

Habitat

Temperate-alpine climates, growing on on semi-shady forest floors as well as on open grassy slopes; at elevations of 1,800 - 3,650 metres[
1308
Title
Distribution Pattern, Survival Threats and Conservation of 'Astavarga' Orchids in Himachal Pradesh, Northwest Himala
Publication
Plant Archives Vol. 12 No. 1, 2012 pp. 165-168
Author
Ravi Kant; Jagdeep Verma; and Kranti Thakur
Publisher
 
Year
2012
ISBN
0972-5210
Description
 
].

Properties

Conservation StatusVulnerable
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.20 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Even those species that grow in bogs tend to be in the drier areas of the bog with plenty of water 15cm or more below soil level. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid[
230
Title
Hardy Orchids. Orchids for the Garden and Frost-free Greenhouse.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. P. & Bailes. C.
Publisher
Christopher Helm. London.
Year
1989
ISBN
0 7470 0416 1
Description
An excellent book looking at the orchids that can be grown outdoors in temperate climates and giving lots of information on how to grow them. Very lttle information on their uses.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Malaxis muscifera is one of a group of eight plants, known collectively as 'Astavarga' in India, whose underground parts are seen in Ayurveda as general tonics that can strengthen the vital force in the body, improve cell regeneration capacity and boost the immune system. They can each be used on their own, and they are also used in the preparation of different types of rejuvenating tonics in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. One of the most important of these is 'Chyavanprash', a polyherbal formulation comprising more than 50 different plant ingredients, which is widely used in India as a general tonic, energy booster, immune system strengthener and aphrodisiac[
1306
Title
Rare and Endangered Medicinal Orchids of Asthavarga Group in Attaranchal - Habenaria intermedia (Virdhii) and Habena
Publication
MFP News, Vol XII, No. 4; 2002
Author
Manmohan Jagatram Dobriyal
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
,
1307
Title
Assessment of Nutritional and Antioxidant Potential of Selected Vitality Strengthening Himalayan Medicinal Plants
Publication
International Journal of Food Properties, 17:703-712, 2014
Author
Sandeep Rawat, Harish Andola, Lalit Giri, Praveen Dhyani, Ar
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
1094-2912
Description
 
].
The plant is used in the treatment of a wide range of conditions, including blood disorders, burning sensation in the body, male sterility, fever, dysentery, external and internal haemorrhage and general weakness. It is also used as an aphrodisiac, against insect bite and rheumatism[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
,
1306
Title
Rare and Endangered Medicinal Orchids of Asthavarga Group in Attaranchal - Habenaria intermedia (Virdhii) and Habena
Publication
MFP News, Vol XII, No. 4; 2002
Author
Manmohan Jagatram Dobriyal
Publisher
 
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
 
,
1308
Title
Distribution Pattern, Survival Threats and Conservation of 'Astavarga' Orchids in Himachal Pradesh, Northwest Himala
Publication
Plant Archives Vol. 12 No. 1, 2012 pp. 165-168
Author
Ravi Kant; Jagdeep Verma; and Kranti Thakur
Publisher
 
Year
2012
ISBN
0972-5210
Description
 
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move.
Division in autumn. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-10-19. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Malaxis+muscifera>

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