Pholidota Lindl. ex Hook.,
Exot. Fl. 2 (1825) t. 138
Sympodial epiphytic or rarely terrestrial plants with very short to elongated rhizomes. Pseudobulbs consisting of one internode. Leaves 1 or 2, not sheathing at the base, glabrous, plicate or not, deciduous, convolute, thin-textured but stiff or distinctly leathery. Inflorescence basal (heteranthous) or terminal (synanthous or hysteranthous), a few- to many-flowered raceme. Flowers small to medium-sized, resupinate. Sepals free. Petals free, sometimes similar to the sepals, but more often distinctly narrower. Lip without spur, not mobile, divided into a cup-like basal part without lateral lobes, and a flat or convex apical part. Column at the apex flattened, more or less hood-like; column-foot very short or absent. Pollinia 4, solid, caudicles present, stipe present or not, viscidium absent.
Tropical continental Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Pacific islands, east to Tahiti. About 28 species; in New Guinea 3 species, none of which are endemic.
Epiphytic in lowland and montane forest, predominantly in the mountains, but not reaching very high altitudes in New Guinea; also on rocks and steep mossy slopes.
Pholidota is closely related to Coelogyne. The flowers are generally much less showy. These have a characteristic lip, which is clearly divided into a cup-shaped basal part without lateral lobes and a flat or convex apical part. Pholidota imbricata is one of the most common orchids throughout tropical Asia and New Guinea. Members of this genus are occasionally and easily cultivated.