Epiphytic, rarely terrestrial or lithophytic herbs. Stem simple, leafy, covered in sheathing leaf-bases and resembling Appendicula, nonpseudobulbous. Leaves distichous. Inflorescence lateral, axillary. Flowers resupinate or non-resupinate, whitish, greenish, bluish, or purple. Sepals acute, lateral sepals adnate to column foot forming a mentum. Petals often smaller and narrower than sepals. Labellum entire to trilobed, disc lacking a basal appendage and always adnate to sides of column foot to form a sac. Column with a foot; apex of anther bidentate, pollinia eight, caudicles absent, viscidium solitary. (JW).
Species of Poaephyllum have been recorded from sea level to 2000 m as trunk and branch epiphytes in lowland riverine and dipterocarp forests, lower montane forests with Casuarina L. (Casuarinaceae) and an understorey of climbing bamboo, on boles of Gymnostoma sumatranum ( Jungh. ex de Vriese) L. A. S. Johnson (Casuarinaceae) in low-stature forests on ultramafic rock, and in low, open swampy forests on ultramafic rock. They are also known to occur on serpentine boulders in riverbeds, mossy rocks in forest dominated by Weinmannia L. (Cunoniaceae), and on roadside banks. (JW).