Coll. Orchid. (1858) 71, t. 17, 19, 20
Sympodial terrestrial or rarely epiphytic plants. Stem elongated, slightly succulent, basal part creeping, forming a rhizome, apical part erect, few-leaved. Leaves crowded at the stem-apex or distributed along the erect part of the stem, sheathing at the base, glabrous, persistent, convolute, green to blackish green, sometimes with lighter markings, or rarely with white to pink veins, herbaceous. Inflorescence terminal, a dense, few-to many-flowered, often short-stalked raceme, rarely [in New Guinea] carrying a single flower only. Flowers small, resupinate, not opening widely, usually greenish. Sepals free, very fleshy at the apex. Petals free, about as long as the dorsal sepal, usually cohering at the apices. Lip spurred, not mobile, inside the spur with two stalked glands. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, sectile, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present. Stigma with two clearly separated lobes.
India, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Pacific islands, east to Tonga. About 40 species; in New Guinea about 12 species.
Terrestrial in evergreen lowland and montane forest, often near small streams.
A distinctive genus in the Goodyera alliance, easily recognised by the pair of drumstick-shaped glands in the spur. Occasionally cultivated in scientific collections, but most species possess little if any horticultural potential. Only a few species have attractive foliage. Several seem to prefer 'wet feet' as they can be found growing near springs and small streams in the forest, with running water trickling between the rhizomes.