Genus Calanthe

Calanthe R.Br.,
Edwards's Bot. Reg. (1821) sub t. 573

Sympodial terrestrial or epiphytic plants with or without distinct rhizomes. Stem very short or rarely elongated, or with fat pseudobulbs consisting of one internode. Leaves few to several, spirally arranged or in two rows, sheathing at the base, glabrous or sometimes pubescent, plicate, deciduous or persistent, convolute, thin-textured. Inflorescence a lateral or basal, few- to many-flowered raceme. Flowers small to rather large, resupinate, often showy. Sepals free. Petals free, often fairly similar to the dorsal sepal, but sometimes rather different in shape. Lip adnate to the column along the entire length of the latter, usually with a distinct spur, rarely spur absent. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 8, solid, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present.

Central America (1 species), tropical and southern Africa, Madagascar, throughout tropical Asia, China and Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Pacific islands, east to Tahiti; about 100 species.

Distribution in the Philippines
Luzon (Ilocos Norte, Abra, Kalinga-Apayao, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Benguet, Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, Tayabas, Camarines, Albay, Sorsogon), Polillo, Mindoro, Palawan, Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Samar, Camiguin, Mindanao (Zamboanga, Lanao, Bukidnon, Surigao, Agusan, Davao, Cotabato), Tawi-Tawi; 15 species.

Mainly terrestrial in evergreen and deciduous forest; also epiphytic on tree trunks and major branches. Found both in the lowlands and in the mountains.

A genus with attractive flowers, almost always distinctly spurred, of a more delicate consistency than most orchids. Closely related genera are Phaius and Cephalantheropsis. As in those genera all parts of the plant (including the flowers) turn bluish when bruised.