epiphytic herbs. Stems short,
covered with distichous, equitant leaves. Leaves iridiform, unifacial, rarely terete,
fleshy, articulate or not at base, often imbricate at base, sheaths flattened.
Inflorescences terminal, slender,
unbranched, many flowered spikes; peduncle often with sterile bracts below; floral bracts persistent, oblong, erose. Flowers in whorls, minute, 1-2 mm across, greenish-yellow or red; ovary glabrous or papillate. Sepals and
petals ovate, deflexed, free. Lip
entire or lobed, with a nectar depression at base; lateral lobes often embracing column.
Column erect, short, lacking a foot; anther cap terminal, firmly attached to
column apex, 2-locular; pollinia 4, cohering in 2 unequally sized pairs, waxy.
Stigma transversely reniform to ovate. Capsule
globose or elliptic.