Description from Flora of China
Himantoglossum subg. Neottianthe Reichenbach, Icon. Bot. Pl. Crit. 6: 26. 1828; Symphyosepalum Handel-Mazzetti.
Herbs, terrestrial, slender. Tubers subglobose to ovoid, unlobed, fleshy, neck with several slender roots. Stem erect or ascending, with tubular sheaths at base, (1 or)2-leaved, glabrous. Leaves basal, subopposite, (though cauline, alternate, and widely spaced in Neottianthe secundiflora), base contracted into amplexicaul sheath. Inflorescence a terminal raceme, glabrous; peduncle elongate, with 1 to a few scattered sterile bracts; rachis usually several to many flowered, rarely with a solitary flower. Flowers often secund, resupinate, pink, purple, or rarely pale yellow; ovary slightly twisted, cylindric-fusiform, glabrous. Sepals connivent and forming a hood, narrowly oblong to lanceolate, subequal in size. Petals appressed to dorsal sepal, linear to oblong; lip spreading, spurred at base, 3-lobed; disk densely finely papillate; lobes linear to oblong; mid-lobe longer and wider than lateral lobes; spur straight or curved forward. Column erect, short; anther erect, oblong or ellipsoid, apex obtuse, 2-locular, locules parallel; pollinia 2, oblong, granular-farinaceous, sectile; caudicles short; viscidia small, ovate, orbicular, or elliptic, naked; rostellum small, 3-lobed, raised, deltoid; stigma lobes confluent, raised, lying below rostellum; auricles 2, on either side of anther, small, inconspicuous, suborbicular. Capsule erect.
About seven species: E Europe, through Russia and China to Japan, extending to alpine areas of subtropical Asia; seven species (five endemic) in China.
(Authors: Chen Xinqi (陈心启 Chen Sing-chi); Stephan W. Gale, Phillip J. Cribb)