Eulophia R.Br. ex Lindl.,
Edwards's Bot Reg. (1823) t. 686
Sympodial terrestrial plants, sometimes leafless, with underground or partly exposed pseudobulbs consisting of one to several internodes, or with a swollen underground rhizome. Leaves few or none, sheathing at the base, glabrous, plicate or very narrow and grass-like, deciduous, convolute, thin-textured, rarely more leathery. Inflorescence arising from the base of the plant, a few- to many-flowered raceme or panicle. Flowers medium-sized, resupinate. Sepals free. Petals free, usually fairly different from the sepals. Lip spurred or not, not mobile. Column-foot present. Pollinia 2, solid, cleft at the base, caudicles absent, stipe present, viscidium present.
World wide tropics (very few species in America), South Africa, Pacific islands, east to Niue. About 230 species; in New Guinea c. 6 species.
Terrestrial in grasslands, also in open forests, often where seasonally dry.
A large genus, related to Geodorum, but more easily confused with the much more distantly related genus Tainia. In Tainia the pseudobulbs are 1-leaved (few-leaved in Eulophia), and the flowers have 8 naked pollinia, instead of 2 pollinia with a distinct viscidium. Many of the African species of Eulophia are quite showy, which is hardly true of the Asian species; these are therefore rarely cultivated.