Prodr. (1810) 330
Leafless terrestrial plants lacking chlorophyll. Inflorescence arising from an underground tuber-like rhizome, a few- to many-flowered raceme or carrying a single flower. Flowers small to medium-sized, not resupinate. Sepals and petals all mutually connate, but the lateral sepals sometimes only connate at the base. Petals usually much smaller than the dorsal sepal. Lip without spur, not mobile. Column-foot present, stigma situated at the base of the column. Pollinia 2, grooved, sectile; caudicles, stipe, and viscidium absent.
Southern Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Southeast Asia, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Pacific islands, Australia, New Zealand. About 15 species; in New Guinea 2 species.
In lowland and montane forest.
Often confused with Didymoplexis, but in that genus the lateral sepals and the petals are almost free from each other. In Chinese medicine species of Gastrodia are considered to have valuable properties, and at least one species is cultivated for this purpose in symbiosis with certain fungi .