Description from Flora of China
Sarcanthus Lindley (1824), not Lindley (1826).
Herbs, epiphytic or lithophytic, monopodial. Stems simple or branched, stout, leafy. Leaves distichous, conduplicate, leathery, sometimes somewhat fleshy, apex emarginate or bilobed. Inflorescence axillary, racemose, corymbose, or paniculate; floral bracts persistent, inconspicuous, scalelike. Flowers fragile, not resupinate, small, fleshy. Sepals and petals similar, flat to curved; lateral sepals adnate to spur (when present). Lip saccate or with a short spur, adnate to column, immovable, rigid, variously lobed, fleshy, papillose, tuberculate, sometimes dentate; spur lacking any internal tongue or median septum. Column short, fleshy, glabrous or papillose; stelidia 2, toothlike; foot absent; anther cap ovoid, apiculate; pollinia 4, united in 2 pairs, globose; caudicle linear, thick; viscidium oval, small; stigma transverse, concave; rostellum short, emarginate.
About ten species (possibly fewer): from tropical Himalayan regions to Indochina, and SE Asia, tropical and subtropical Africa, Madagascar, and the islands of the W Indian Ocean; three species in China.
(Authors: Chen Xinqi (陈心启 Chen Sing-chi); Jeffrey J. Wood)