Genus Phreatia

Phreatia Lindl.,
Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. (1830) 63

Monopodial or sympodial plants, without, or with very short to long rhizomes. Stem very short or elongated. Pseudobulbs present or not, consisting of one to several internodes, when present 1- to few-leaved, when pseudobulbs absent stem few- to many-leaved. Leaves sheathing at the base, glabrous, rarely laterally compressed, deciduous, duplicate, rather thin-textured to leathery or carnose. Inflorescence lateral from the base of the pseudobulb, or lateral from the stem, a many-flowered raceme. Flowers small to very small, resupinate, white or greenish. Sepals free. Petals free, usually similar to the dorsal sepal, but somewhat smaller. Lip with or without spur, not mobile. Column-foot present. Pollinia 8, solid, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present.

Northeast India, tropical East Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands, east to Tahiti; about 150 species.

Distribution in the Philippines
Luzon (Ilocos Norte, Abra, Kalinga-Apayao, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Pampanga, Rizal, Laguna, Tayabas, Albay, Sorsogon), Biliran, Mindoro, Panay, Negros, Bohol, Leyte, Samar, Mindanao (Zamboanga, Misamis, Bukidnon, Agusan, Davao, Cotabato), Basilan; 16 species.

Epiphytic in lowland and montane forest.

Inconspicuous plants, usually with dense racemes of many tiny white flowers. Phreatia is one of the few orchid genera where the vegetative parts are much more diverse than the flowers. Related to Thelasis, but with more delicate flowers having a distinct column-foot. Rarely seen in cultivation.