Genus Chelonistele

Chelonistele Pfitzer,
in A. Engler, Pflanzenr. Heft 32 (1907) 136

Sympodial epiphytes with short rhizomes. Pseudobulbs conspicuous, consisting of a single internode, one- or two-leaved. Leaves not sheathing at the base, glabrous, not plicate, deciduous, convolute, leathery. Inflorescence arising from the apex of the developing shoot (synanthous), a few- to many-flowered raceme. Flowers medium-sized, resupinate. Sepals free. Petals free, about as long as but much narrower than the dorsal sepal. Lip without spur, not mobile, three-lobed, with the lateral lobes patent, usually with two entire keels. Column at the apex hood-shaped, overtopping the anther. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 4, solid, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium absent.

Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines; about 15 species, all but one endemic in Borneo.

Distribution in the Philippines
Luzon (Camarines Sur), Palawan, Mindanao (Bukidnon, Agusan); 1 species [Chelonistele sulphurea (Blume) Pfitzer].

Epiphytic in montane forest.

A close relative of Coelogyne, mainly distinguished by the patent rather than erect lateral lobes of the lip that arise some distance away from its base. Species of Chelonistele are often quite attractive, but rarely cultivated.