Plants with very short stems. Floral bracts persistent. Lip with a spur, usually distinctly lobed.
Central America (one 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; in New Guinea c. 40 species.
Mainly terrestrial in rain forest; also epiphytic on tree trunks and major branches or terrestrial in open grasslands. Found both in the lowlands and in the mountains.
Genus Calanthe section Calanthe in New Guinea contains 40 species and 1 variety: