Genus Anoectochilus

Anoectochilus Blume,
Fl. Javae (1828) vi

Small sympodial terrestrial, rarely epiphytic plants. Stem elongated, slightly succulent, basal part creeping, forming a rhizome, apical part erect, few-leaved. Leaves crowded at the stem-apex, spirally arranged, sheathing at the base, glabrous, persistent, convolute, usually very dark green or brown with silvery, golden, or pink veins and cross-veins; in one group of species (sometimes separated into the genus Odontochilus) the leaves are plain green, herbaceous. Inflorescence a usually few-flowered, terminal raceme. Flowers small, resupinate, usually brownish with a white lip. Sepals free. Petals free, about as long as the dorsal sepal, usually cohering at the apices. Lip spurred or sac-shaped at the base, not mobile, in the middle with an elongated constriction which carries slender processes along its margin, but in peloric forms lip similar to the petals. Column in front with 2 parallel lamellae; column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, sectile, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present. Stigma with 2 clearly separated lobes.

Tropical continental Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Pacific islands, east to Hawaii; about 40 species.

Distribution in the Philippines
Specimens collected from Mindoro, Palawan, Negros, Cebu, Leyte, none identified to species.

Terrestrial in lowland and montane forest, sometimes epiphytic on mossy tree-trunks.

Anoectochilus belongs to the group of so-called 'Jewel Orchids', cultivated for their beautiful foliage. In the Philippines, the genera Ludisia and Macodes have similar leaves, but different, asymmetric flowers. One group of species within Anoectochilus is distinguished by the green, unmarked leaves, and by having a not clearly spurred lip. These plain-leaved, rather less attractive species are sometimes separated into the genus Odontochilus (e.g. Ormerod, 2002). Further research is needed to determine the status of Odontochilus.