Genus Dipodium

Dipodium R.Br.,
Prodr. (1810) 330

Sympodial or monopodial terrestrial plants, sometimes leafless. Stem rather short to much elongated, sometimes spirally climbing, not fleshy, many-leaved (or leafless). Leaves sheathing at the base, arranged in two rows, glabrous, deciduous, duplicate, relatively narrow, thin-leathery. Inflorescence a several-flowered lateral raceme. Flowers medium-sized to rather large, resupinate, creamy white with brownish or purple spots, the spots being more deeply coloured on the outside of the sepals and petals than on the inside. Sepals free. Petals free, similar to the dorsal sepal. Lip without spur, not mobile, on the mid-lobe with a hairy crest. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, cleft, solid, caudicles absent, stipe present, Y-shaped, viscidium present.

Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Palau, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia. About 20 species; in New Guinea 2 species.

Terrestrial in lowland rain forest and (the leafless species) in grasslands.

A relative of Eulophia, easily recognised by the spotted flowers, with the spots being much paler on the inside of the flower than on the outside, and by the hairy lip with small side-lobes at its base. One species (Dipodium pandanum) is a leafy climber in forests, the other (Dipodium elatum) a leafless terrestrial in seasonally dry grassland. The latter would undoubtedly be very difficult to cultivate, but D. pandanum is rather easy to grow in warm and humid greenhouse conditions.