53. Liparis Richard, De Orchid. Eur. 21, 30, 38. 1817.
[Greek liparos, fat, greasy, or shining, referring to the almost oily feel and luster of the leaves typical of plants in this genus]
Lawrence K. Magrath
Herbs, perennial, terrestrial [lithophytic or epiphytic]. Roots slender, fibrous; pseudobulbs green, conic, ovoid, or ellipsoid, slightly compressed, soft (2 pseudobulbs typically present, parent pseudobulb enveloped in old leaf-bases, connected laterally by short rhizome to daughter pseudobulb, which gives rise to current year’s stem, parent pseudobulb often retaining dried stem of previous year). Stems somewhat angled, slender, glabrous; cauline bracts 2(–3), enclosing base of stem. Leaves 2 or 3–7, basal, sheathing pseudobulb and proximal part of stem, conduplicate or plicate, glabrous. Inflorescences terminal, 3–40-flowered racemes, lax; peduncle and rachis glabrous; floral bracts subulate to triangular-lanceolate. Flowers resupinate, maroon-purple, yellowish green, or green, pedicellate; dorsal sepal oblong-elliptic, linear-oblong, oblong-lanceolate, or lanceolate, margins revolute, apex obtuse to acute; lateral sepals oblong-lanceolate, lanceolate, ovate-oblong, or elliptic, falcate or not, margins revolute or involute, apex obtuse to acute; petals filiform, linear, linear-oblanceolate, or narrowly spatulate, tubular or strongly revolute; lip strongly arcuate-recurved, obcordate, oblong-flabellate, or suborbiculate, base broadly cuneate, slightly auriculate, apex emarginate or subtruncate, mucronate or not, apical margins erose-serrulate to crenulate-wavy; column arcuate, slender to stout, weakly to strongly winged at apex; anther apical, anther cap yellow or green; pollinia 2 pairs, yellow, waxy. Fruits capsules, erect, ellipsoid to ovoid, obscurely to prominently winged, glabrous.
Species 250 (3 in the flora): nearly worldwide.