Collect. Bot. (1825) sub t. 33
Sympodial epiphytic or terrestrial plants with short to long rhizomes. Pseudobulbs conspicuous, consisting of a single internode, one- or two-leaved. Leaves not sheathing at the base, glabrous or with minute scale-hairs, usually plicate, deciduous, convolute or rarely duplicate, thin-textured, rarely more leathery. Inflorescence arising from the base of the plant (heteranthous), or from the apex of the developing shoot (proteranthous or synanthous), or from the apex of the mature pseudobulb (hysteranthous), a few- to many-flowered raceme, very rarely carrying a single flower only. Flowers rather small to large, resupinate, often showy. Sepals free, white, green, brownish or yellowish. Petals free, about as long as but usually much narrower than the dorsal sepal. Lip without spur, rarely sac-shaped at the base, not mobile, three-lobed, with the lateral lobes erect. Column at the apex hood-shaped, overtopping the anther. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 4, solid, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium absent.
Sri Lanka, tropical Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, east to Samoa (not in Australia). About 250 species; in New Guinea c. 6 species.
Usually epiphytic in lowland and montane forest, often in rather shady positions.
A genus with attractive but rather short-lived flowers, characterised by the flattened, apically hood-shaped column. The lip is usually distinctly 3-lobed and often has conspicuous keels as well as dark brown or bright yellow markings, but the white-flowered Coelogyne veitchii is an exception in all respects. Compared with Borneo, New Guinea is poorly endowed with species of Coelogyne, but the few species occurring here are almost all relatively common. They belong to three different sections of the genus: Speciosae, Verrucosae and Veitchiae.