Terrestrial herbs with fleshy globose or ellipsoid tuberoids. Stems erect, with many cauline or basal leaves, with sheaths at base. Leaves usually lanceolate or oblong, sessile, not jointed at base. Inflorescence terminal, racemose or spicate, many-flowered. Flowers greenish or white; sepals free, subequal, dorsal one often connate with petals forming hood; petals narrow, entire or deeply divided; lip continuous to base of column, usually 3-lobed or 3-partite, base produced into straight or curved spur; column stout; anther erect, basally connate with column, cells widely divergent below, with auricles or staminodes on outer side, base often produced into long tube; pollinia 2, sectile, each with long caudicle attached to viscidium; stigma 2-lobed, lobes or stigmaphore clavate, distinctly separated and stalked; rostellum broad and thick, roof-like, produced on both sides into distinct lateral arms parallel to tube of anther cell; viscidia naked, not enclosed by bursicle.
About 600 species, widespread in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions, 8 species in Taiwan.