Genus Stigmatodactylus

Stigmatodactylus Maxim. ex Makino,
Illustr. Fl. Jap. (1891) t. 43

Sympodial terrestrial plants. Subterranean tuber present or not. Stem short, 1-leaved. Leaves without sheathing base, glabrous, dorso-ventrally flattened, not articulate, convolute, herbaceous. Inflorescence terminal, a raceme. Flowers small, resupinate, greenish. Sepals and petals free, narrow, similar to each other. Lip without spur, not mobile, flat or slightly convex, at the base with a raised, often complex callus. Column slender, curved, laterally flattened. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, 2-lobed, mealy, caudicles absent, stipe absent, viscidium present.

India (Sikkim), Japan, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, New Guinea. About 10 species; in New Guinea 3 species.

Terrestrial in montane forest among leaf-litter in deep shade.

Like in the related genus Corybas each shoot carries only a single leaf, which is more or less cordate. The flowers are however of a much simpler structure, superficially similar to those of some species of Liparis. These inconspicuous little plants are amongs the least frequently seen of all orchids, even in the wild.

There has been confusion over the correct name for this genus. Since the name Stigmatodactylus was originally published in 1891 without a description it was believed that Pantlingia, published some years later but with a formal description, had priority. However, the first application of the name Stigmatodactylus was accompanied by a line drawing showing a floral analysis, which in works published before 1908 is considered equivalent with a diagnositic description according to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.