Genus Cystorchis

Cystorchis Blume,
Coll. Orchid. (1858) 87

Small sympodial terrestrial plants, sometimes leafless, and then with underground rhizome. Stem, if present, elongated, slightly succulent, basal part creeping, forming a rhizome, apical part erect, short. Leaves, if present, few, crowded at the stem-apex, spirally arranged, sheathing at the base, glabrous, persistent, convolute, often dark brown, herbaceous. Inflorescence terminal, a few to many-flowered raceme. Flowers small, resupinate, not widely opening. Sepals free. Petals free, about as long as the dorsal sepal, usually cohering at the apices. Lip with a very short spur, at the base usually with two blister-like swellings, each with a small wart inside, not mobile. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, sectile, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present. Stigma lobes not separated.

Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Pacific islands, east to Vanuatu; about 20 species.

Distribution in the Philippines
Luzon (Benguet, Pampanga, Bataan, Laguna), Mindoro, Polillo, Mindanao (Davao); 3 species.

Terrestrial in lowland and montane forest.

This uncommon genus, related to the even less common Kuhlhasseltia, is easily recognised by the pair of blister-like swellings at the base of the lip. A few species are leafless and achlorophyllous. The leafy species would be worth cultivating for their nice foliage, but they are rarely found in even the most comprehensive collections.