Cryptochilus Wall.
  • Wall., Tent. Fl. Napal.: 36 (1824)

This is a synonym of Eriinae Benth.

General Description

Epiphytic or lithophytic herbs. Rhizome creeping. Pseudobulb ovoid or dilated, covered by several acute, imbricate, brown sheaths below, one-leaved at apex or bearing two or three leaves toward the apex, covered when young by acute sheaths. Leaves coriaceous, suberect to erect, conduplicate, coriaceous, articulated to apex of sheath. Inflorescence terminal, synanthous, racemose, secund; floral bracts prominent, lanceolate, almost as long as the flowers. Flower campanulate or opening widely, spreading or subnutant, resupinate, glabrous, white, pink, red, or yellow. Sepals fused into a cylindrical tube except for their apical quarter or dorsal sepal free, lateral sepals oblique at base, attached to column foot to form a conical mentum. Petals smaller than sepals, free, oblanceolate. Labellum entire and ecallose or trilobed and callose, recurved in apical half, lacking a spur, firmly attached to column foot to form an obscure mentum. Column with a column foot as long as or longer than column; anther eight-locular; pollinia eight, clavate, attached to a prominent, elongate, narrowly elliptic viscidium, bifid at apex; rostellum prominently bilobed. Ovary markedly keeled, triangular in cross-section. (PC, YN).


Species occur in lowland, hill, kerangas, peatswamp, broad-leaved, and monsoon forests and lower and upper montane forests on tree trunks and rocks from sea level to 2400 m. (PC, YN).


A small genus of about 10 species from northern India, Burma, southern China, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. (PC, YN).


There are no known uses for Cryptochilus. (AP).

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Asia-Temperate China China South-Central
  • China Southeast
  • Hainan
  • Tibet
  • Asia-Tropical Indian Subcontinent Assam
  • East Himalaya
  • Nepal
  • Indo-China Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam


 Information From

WCS higher taxonomy
  • A All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
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