Description: Terrestrial saprophytic [or climbing to epiphytic] herbs, sympodial [or monpododial]; roots subterranean, fleshy [or aerial or creeping over the surface of the substrate and somewhat fibrous].
Leaves scale-like and reddish purple [or well-developed and green], crowded on short shoots [or scattered along the stem], several [to many] per shoot, distichous, conduplicate.
Inflorescence racemose, many-flowered, lateral; flowers resupinate [or not]. Sepals and lateral petals free, similar. Labellum free, attached at base of column; lamina 3-lobed, bearing a prominent basal callus and a central line of dense hairs. Column lacking free filament and style; column wings fused to column, narrow or apparently absent. Column foot absent. Anther incumbent, cap-like. Pollinia 2, waxy. Stigma entire. Rostellum not prominent, ventral.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20 species, Malesia, Australia, Melanesia, New Caledonia. Australia: 11 species (10 species endemic), all States.
Text by P. H. Weston
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Sepals and lateral petals greenish yellow with maroon spots and streaks||Dipodium hamiltonianum|
|Sepals and lateral petals white to pink with darker spots or blotches or uniformly pink to purple||2|
|2||Pedicel plus ovary spotted||Dipodium variegatum|
|Pedicel plus ovary unspotted|
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|3||Sepals and lateral petals straight to slightly recurved||4|
|Sepals and lateral petals strongly recurved towards the tips|
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|4||Sepals and lateral petals almost flat, straight, mid pink with heavy dark blotching||Dipodium pulchellum|
|Sepals and lateral petals cupped, often slightly recurved, pink with heavy darker purple blotching|
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|5||Sepals and lateral petals light pink with fine, darker spots||Dipodium roseum|
|Sepals and lateral petals dark reddish purple, heavily blotched with darker purple|
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