Description from Flora of China
Alipsa Hoffmannsegg; Anistylis Rafinesque; Diteilis Rafinesque; Dituilis Rafinesque; Empusa Lindley; Empusaria Reichenbach; Iebine Rafinesque; Leptorkis Thouars; Malaxis sect. Platystylis Blume; Mesoptera Rafinesque; Paliris Dumortier; Platystylis (Blume) Lindley (1830), not Sweet (1828); Pseudorchis Gray (1821), not Séguier (1754); Sturmia Reichenbach (1826), not Hoppe (1799).
Herbs, terrestrial, lithophytic, or epiphytic, rhizomatous, rarely mycotrophic and leaves reduced to scales. Stems pseudobulbous, sometimes appearing as a many-noded, fleshy stem, clustered or not, when young covered by sterile bracts. Leaves 1 to several, linear to ovate or elliptic, plicate or not, thinly textured to leathery, basal or cauline (terrestrial species), or arising from apex or subterminal nodes of pseudobulbs (epiphytic species), articulate or not at base. Inflorescences erect to pendulous, racemose, laxly or densely many flowered; floral bracts persistent, small. Flowers small or medium-sized, yellow, green, orange, or purple, often translucent, usually resupinate. Sepals spreading, dorsal sepal free, lateral sepals sometimes fused for part or all of their length. Petals free, often reflexed, often linear and unlike sepals; lip often reflexed, ovate, oblong, or flabellate, entire or lobed, usually with a basal callus, lacking a spur. Column incurved-arcuate, clavate, long, winged at apex and sometimes at base; anther cap attached by a slender filament, 2-locular; pollinia 4 in 2 pairs, waxy, ovoid, bilaterally flattened, each pair with a small viscidium; rostellum thinly textured, blunt. Capsule subglobose to ellipsoid, often ± with 3 obtuse ridges.
Liparis gibbosa Finet (Bull. Soc. Bot. France 55: 342. 1908) was recorded from Yunnan by Y. M. Shui and W. H. Chen (Seed Pl. Karst Region China, 241. 2006). This species is easily recognizable by its distichous floral bracts and gibbous lip. It has a wide distribution (Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam; Pacific islands) and so could well be present in S China. However, the present authors could not substantiate the Chinese record because they found no relevant specimens.
About 320 species: well represented in tropical Asia, New Guinea, Australia, SW Pacific islands, and the subtropical and tropical Americas, with a single species in Europe and two in North America; 63 species (20 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Chen Xinqi (陈心启 Chen Sing-chi); Paul Ormerod, Jeffrey J. Wood)