Description from Flora of China
Herbs, epiphytic, small to medium-sized, monopodial. Stems rather short or elongate, ascending or pendulous, enclosed in basal sheaths of leaves. Leaves many, usually distichous, narrowly elliptic or strap-shaped, slightly fleshy or leathery, flat, jointed and amplexicaul-sheathing at base, sometimes twisted at base and ± lying in one plane, apex unequally bilobed, acute or rarely with 3 setae. Inflorescence lateral, rather short, racemose or subumbellate, few to many flowered. Flowers small to medium-sized, ± fleshy. Sepals and petals free, similar, spreading. Lip firmly attached to base of column, with a subglobose-saccate or conic hypochile with lateral lobes reduced to often fleshy edges of sac; epichile fan-shaped, often broadly triangular, often hairy or papillose, margin entire to fimbriate. Column short and thick, footless; rostellum short, 2-lobed; anther subglobose, apex narrowed; pollinia waxy, 2, subglobose, porate or rarely cleft, attached by a common narrow stipe to a bilobed viscidium.
The following three species were recently described or recorded from China:
Gastrochilus affinis (King & Pantling) Schlechter (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12: 314. 1913; Saccolabium affine King & Pantling, Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. Calcutta 8: 228. 1898), recorded from NW Yunnan (Fugong: Gaoligong Shan, 2500-2600 m) by X. H. Jin, H. Li, and D. Z. Li (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 45: 804. 2007).
Gastrochilus alatus X. H. Jin & S. C. Chen (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 45: 800. 2007), described from W Yunnan (Fugong, 2700-2800 m).
Gastrochilus malipoensis X. H. Jin & S. C. Chen (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 45: 801. 2007), described from SE Yunnan (Malipo, 1300-1400 m).
In addition, reviewer L. Averyanov notes that Gastrochilus minutiflorus Averyanov (Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow & Leningrad) 82(3): 143. 1997), described from N Vietnam, should also occur in S China. However, the present authors could not substantiate this assertion because they found no relevant specimens.
About 47 species: from India and Sri Lanka to E Asia and south to Indonesia; 29 species (17 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Chen Xinqi (陈心启 Chen Sing-chi), Ji Zhanhe (吉占和 Tsi Zhan-huo); Jeffrey J. Wood)