Pristiglottis Cretz. & J.J.Sm.,
Acta Fauna Fl. Universali, ser. 2, Bot., 1, 14 (1934) 4
Small sympodial terrestrial plants. Stem elongated, slightly succulent, basal part creeping, forming a rhizome, apical part erect, few-leaved. Leaves distributed along the erect part of the stem or crowded at the stem-apex, spirally arranged, sheathing at the base, glabrous, persistent, convolute, often with wavy margins, usually dark green, sometimes with a whitish mid-vein, herbaceous. Inflorescence a few- to several-flowered terminal raceme. Flowers small (but relatively large for the plant) to medium-sized, resupinate, white, green, or bluish. Sepals connate or not. Petals free, about as long as the dorsal sepal but narrower, more or less falcate. Lip with or usually without spur, not mobile, at the concave base with two warts, with a long tubular median part, which often has toothed or fringed margins; spur, if present, bilobed. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, sectile, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present. Stigma without clearly separated lobes.
Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Pacific islands, east to Samoa. About 15 species; in New Guinea 4 species.
Terrestrial in montane forest.
A genus of delicate and rarely encountered inhabitants of the forest floor. The flowers are similar to those of Anoectochilus, but the stigmatic surface is not divided into two widely separated lobes. More research is needed into the phylogeny of Anoectochilus, Odontochilus and Pristiglottis to decide on the status of these genera. Species of Pristiglottis are virtually unknown in cultivation. They lack the beautiful foliage of some species of Anoectochilus.