Description from Flora of China
Epipactis Séguier (1754), not Zinn (1757, nom. cons.); Haemaria Lindley.
Herbs, terrestrial, or rarely epiphytic or lithophytic. Rhizome elongate, creeping, few to many noded, with fibrous roots at nodes. Stem erect or ascending, short or elongate, few to many leaved. Leaves widely spaced along stem, clustered, or rosulate, pale to dark green or blackish, adaxially sometimes with a white or pink midvein or white or pink reticulate venation, lanceolate to ovate-elliptic, usually oblique, slightly fleshy, base contracted into a sheathing petiole-like stalk. Inflorescence terminal, racemose, glabrous or pubescent; peduncle with a few sheathing bracts; rachis laxly or densely 1- to many flowered, secund or cylindric; floral bracts glabrous or pubescent. Flowers resupinate. Sepals free, subsimilar, outer surface glabrous or pubescent; dorsal sepal concave, connivent with petals and forming a hood over column; lateral sepals connivent with lip, widely spreading or reflexed. Petals membranous, glabrous; lip connate with column at base, cymbiform, composed of a concave-saccate hypochile and a sessile or rarely shortly clawed epichile; hypochile usually papillose inside or rarely glabrous, sometimes with a pair of low keels; epichile transversely elliptic to lanceolate. Column short, dilated toward apex, without appendages; anther erect; pollinia 2, each longitudinally 2-parted, granular-farinaceous, sectile, attached directly to a small, ovate viscidium or attenuate into stalks that attach to an oblong viscidium; rostellum erect, deltoid, remnant shallowly or deeply bifid; stigma lobes connate, positioned below rostellum. Capsule erect, ovoid to ellipsoid.
About 100 species: S Africa, Asia, NE Australia, Europe, Madagascar, North America including Mexico, SW Pacific islands; 29 species (12 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Chen Xinqi (陈心启 Chen Sing-chi), Lang Kaiyong (郎楷永 Lang Kai-yung); Stephan W. Gale, Phillip J. Cribb, Paul Ormerod)