Description: Terrestrial herbs, sympodial; roots subterranean, somewhat fleshy. Stems differentiated into rhizome and pseudobulb [or almost undifferentiated]; pseudobulb of several–many internodes.
Leaves scattered along the pseudobulb [or stem, or tufted at its tip], several per shoot, distichous, plicate, petiolate.
Inflorescence racemose, several–many-flowered, lateral; flowers resupinate. Sepals free, similar. Lateral petals free, about as long as, or slightly shorter than sepals. Labellum basally fused to the column foot and base of the column; lamina 3-lobed [or unlobed], with a backward-pointing spur, bearing a longitudinal keel [or keels] from base to tip. Column lacking free filament and style; column wings fused to column, expansive only at apex. Column foot short. Anther incumbent, cap-like. Pollinia 8, waxy. Stigma entire. Rostellum not prominent, ventral.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 30 species, tropical Africa, Madagascar, tropical and subtropical Asia, Melanesia and Australasia. Australia: 5 species (3 species endemic), Qld, N.S.W., N.T.
Text by P. H. Weston
|One species in NSW: Phaius australis|