Coll. Orchid. (1858) 99, t. 28, 42
Sympodial terrestrial plants. Stem elongated. Leaves few, sheathing at the base, glabrous, dorso-ventrally flattened, not articulate, convolute, herbaceous. Inflorescence terminal, a raceme. Flowers small, resupinate, usually green or reddish with a white lip. Sepals free. Lateral sepals patent. Petals free, about as long as the dorsal sepal, usually cohering at the apices. Lip without spur, not mobile, concave, laterally constricted below the middle, inside with two keels and two basal tufts of hairs, outside along the margins with more or less well-developed crest-like ornamentation. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, sectile, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present. Stigma 1.
Moluccas, New Guinea and further east to Tahiti. About 10 species; in New Guinea 4 species.
Terrestrial in hill and montane forest.
A member of the Goodyera alliance with plain green leaves, superficially resembling some of the larger species of Goodyera, e.g. G. rubicunda. Moerenhoutia is distinguished from Goodyera by the basal constriction of the lip, by the presence of two keels inside on the lip, and by having two separate tufts of hairs rather than a single large patch of hairs in the basal part of the lip.
Moerenhoutia is very similar to Platylepis, a genus from tropical Africa and Madagascar. In view of the large geographical disjunction and in the absence of molecular studies we consider it preferable to keep the two genera apart, even though the differences are minor. Moerenhoutia is not in cultivation, as far as we know, and is at any rate mainly of botanical interest.
Species included on this CD-ROM: