Epiphytic or lithophytic (rarely terrestrial) herbs, often forming dense mats. Stems tufted, leafy, erect to spreading, nonpseudobulbous. Leaves distichous, lying in one plane by twisting of sheathing bases, not articulated to sheaths. Inflorescence terminal, racemose, rarely exceeding 2 cm long; floral bracts persistent. Flowers resupinate, white or green, often with purple markings. Sepals and petals similar, adnate at base or free. Lateral sepals adnate to column foot, often forming a spur-like mentum. Petals smaller than sepals. Labellum entire or obscurely trilobed and cordate-sagittate, disc with a simple or bilobed basal appendage. Column with an upcurved foot, laterally adnate to lateral sepals in P. marsupialis Schuit.; anther erect, pollinia four, on a solitary or two separate, forked caudicles, viscidium solitary or two, ovate to elliptic; stigma entire; rostellum erect. (JW).
Species of Podochilus are commonly trunk epiphytes from sea level to 2000 m. They occur in lowland and hill dipterocarp, mangrove, riparian, and lower montane forests, and also in lowstature forests on ultramafic substrates. They favour constantly damp, humid locations such as mossy saplings, tree boles, and rocks, often near water. (JW).