Genus Pachystoma

Pachystoma Blume,
Bijdr. (1825) 376

Sympodial terrestrial plants with a subterranean swollen rhizome. Leaf-bearing shoot almost stemless, 1- or 2-leaved. Leaves sheathing at the base, very narrow, glabrous, plicate, often withered at the time of flowering, thin-textured. Inflorescence arising from the rhizome, usually far separated from the leaf-bearing shoot, a few- to many-flowered raceme. Flowers small, resupinate, all parts hairy, including the column. Sepals free. Petals free, narrower than the sepals. Lip without spur, not mobile, at the base with a concavity which is almost closed by a callus on the short column-foot, 3-lobed, the midlobe with 5 to 7 warty keels. Pollinia 8, solid, caudicles present, stipe and viscidium absent.

India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, east to New Caledonia. About 6 (possibly only 1) species; one widespread species (Pachystoma pubescens Blume) in New Guinea.

In tall grassland at low altitudes, often subjected to periodic fires.

This may be mistaken for a leafless orchid, as the grass-like leaves have often disappeared at the time the leafless inflorescences carry their small pinkish flowers.