Paphiopedilum Pfitzer, Morph. Stud. Orchideenbl. (1886) 11; in Engl. & Prantl, Pflanzenfam. II, 6 (1889) 82; & in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV, 50, Orch. Pleonandr. (1903) 54. Type species: Paphiopedilum insigne (Wall. ex Lindl.) Pfitzer.
- Genus Cordula Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4 (1836) 46, nom. rej. Type species. Cordula insignis (Wall. ex Lindl.) Raf.
- Genus Menephora Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4 (1836) 46
- Genus Stimegas Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4 (1836) 45, nom. rej. Type species. Stimegas venustus (Wall. ex Sims) Raf.
Sympodial terrestrials or sometimes epiphytic plants without or with distinct rhizomes. Roots elongate, with root hairs, unbranched. Rhizome short to elongate. Stem very short, erect, tufted or sometimes wide apart. Leaves few, arranged in two rows, glabrous, persistent, duplicate, often mottled, leathery; leaf sheath present, lowest 2 to 4 without leaf blade. Inflorescence a terminal, 1-to many-flowered raceme; rachis glabrous or with indument; bracts conduplicate. Flowers large to very large, resupinate, sometimes opening in succession, showy. Pedicel hardly developed to short; ovary 1-licular, 3-ribbed, glabrous or with indument. Median sepal erect or bent as a hood over the lip; outside glabrous or with indument, inside sometimes with indument at the base; margin glabrous or ciliate. Lateral sepals often connate in a concave synsepalum resembling the median sepal; outside glabrous or with indument, inside sometimes with indument at the base; margin glabrous or ciliate; outside sometimes keeled. Petals free, usually very different from the sepals, flat, reflexed or twisted; outside glabrous or with indument, inside sometimes with indument at the base; margin glabrous or ciliate. Lip without spur, not mobile, slipper-shaped or urn-shaped with a deep and inflated pouch, with or without more or less pronounced, incurved, sometimes warty lateral lobes. Column curved downwards into the opening of the lip, short, stalked, porrect; stamens 2, lateral on the column; filaments short, obtuse to acute; anthers 2-locular; pollen powdery or viscid, sticky; staminode terminal on the column, sessile or short stalked, often shield-like, rarely reduced or absent, transversely reniform, oblong, ovate, obcordate or linear, flat, convex or longitudinally conduplicate, the apex entire, bifid or tripartite, glabrous to papillose or finely pubescent, the margin ciliate or not; stigma stalked or subsessile, dependent, 3-partite, more or less papillose.