Description: Epiphytic, lithophytic or terrestrial sympodial herbs with or without a conspicuous rhizome. Stems reed-like or rarely clavate or pseudobulbous, 1- to many-leaved.
Leaves articulate on tubular sheathing bases or sessile, distichous, terete or flattened-conduplicate.
Inflorescences terminal or rarely lateral racemes or panicles; flowers 1 to numerous. Sepals and lateral petals free. Labellum adnate to column apex, entire or 3-lobed. Column lacking free filament and style, wingless to prominantly winged; anther terminal, erect, cap-like. Pollinia 4, equal, waxy, with prominent caudicles. Stigma entire.
Fruits capsular, 6-valved. Seeds dust-like.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 800 spp., tropical to subtropical Central and South America. Aust.: 1 sp. (naturalized), N.S.W., Qld.
Text by Peter H. Weston