Description from Flora of China
Haplochilus Endlicher; Heterozeuxine T. Hashimoto; Monochilus Wallich ex Lindley; Psychechilos Breda; Strateuma Rafinesque; Tripleura Lindley.
Herbs, terrestrial or rarely lithophytic. Rhizome usually elongate, creeping, fleshy, several noded; roots emerging from rhizome nodes, cylindric, stout. Stem erect or ascending, terete, leafy, glabrous. Leaves cauline or subrosulate, withered or pendulous at anthesis in some species, adaxially green to blackish, sometimes with a white stripe along midvein, linear-lanceolate, obliquely ovate-lanceolate, or elliptic, with or without a petiole-like base sheathing stem, sometimes slightly fleshy. Inflorescence glabrous or pubescent, with a few crowded to scattered sheathing bracts and a few to many flowers in a short to elongate terminal raceme; floral bracts usually equal in length to pedicel and ovary. Flowers resupinate or occasionally erect, small, not opening widely; ovary twisted, glabrous or pubescent. Sepals free, similar, outer surface glabrous to pubescent; dorsal sepal concave, forming a hood with petals; lateral sepals enclosing base of lip. Petals connivent with dorsal sepal, nearly as long as dorsal sepal though usually narrower; lip usually adnate to column margin at base, 2- or 3-partite or rarely entire; hypochile concave-saccate to cymbiform, containing 1 to a few scalelike, subulate or lamellate calli on each side at base; mesochile (when present) short, margin often involute and forming a tube, externally glabrous or pubescent and sometimes with a lamellate flange on each side; epichile dilated, entire to 2-lobed. Column short, dilated, with or without a pair of lateral wings; anther ovoid, 2-locular; pollinia 2, each longitudinally parted, granular-farinaceous, sectile, attached either directly to viscidium or via a short tegula; viscidium ligulate-lanceolate to ovate; rostellum conspicuous, erect, bifid; stigma lobes separate, convex, lateral or at apical corners of column. Capsule erect.
This is a taxonomically complex group and further analysis of collections from throughout Asia is necessary before nomenclatural stability can be achieved.
Incompletely known species
Zeuxine niijimae Tatewaki & Masamune, Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 46: 772. 1932 ["niijimai"].
眉原线柱兰 mei yuan xian zhu lan
Plants ca. 20 cm tall, slender. Rhizome ascending. Stem 2-leaved. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, slightly oblique, ca. 2.5 × 1.5 cm, membranous, base rounded, apex acute; petiole-like base ca. 0.7 cm including tubular sheath. Rachis ca. 2 cm, 2- or 3-flowered; floral bracts ovate-lanceolate, ca. as long as ovary, apex acuminate. Flowers small. Dorsal sepal ovate, concave, ca. 6 mm, apex acuminate; lateral sepals obliquely ovate, ca. 5 × 2 mm, 1- or 3-veined, apex obtuse. Petals ovate-deltoid, ca. 5 × 2.5 mm, apex acute; lip Y-shaped, ca. 4 mm; epichile 2-lobed; lobes obliquely orbicular, ca. 2 × 1.5 mm. Column ca. 2 mm. Fl. Apr.
● C Taiwan.
Zeuxine kantokeiensis Tatewaki & Masamune, Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 46: 772. 1932.
关刀溪线柱兰 guan dao xi xian zhu lan
Plants ca. 30 cm tall, slender. Leaves withered at anthesis. Inflorescence 9-21 cm, pubescent, with a few sterile bracts; sterile bracts ovate-deltoid, ca. 10 × 3 mm, apex acuminate; rachis 3-9 cm; floral bracts ovate, ca. 4 × 2 mm, apex acute-acuminate. Flowers sublaxly arranged, small; ovary ovoid, ca. 3 mm including pedicel. Dorsal sepal ovate, concave, ca. 3 mm, outer surface pubescent, 1-veined, apex acute to obtuse; lateral sepals obliquely ovate, ca. 2 × 1 mm, 3-veined, apex acute to obtuse. Petals oblong, ca. 2 × 1 mm, glabrous, apex obtuse; lip T-shaped; epichile 2-lobed; lobes ca. 1.3 × 1 mm, apex obtuse. Column ca. 1 mm; rostellum arms linear, ca. 1 mm. Fl. Apr.
● C Taiwan.
About 80 species: tropical and S Africa, through tropical and subtropical Asia, to New Guinea, NE Australia, and the SW Pacific islands; 14 species (two endemic) in China; two additional species (both endemic) are incompletely known.
(Authors: Chen Xinqi (陈心启 Chen Sing-chi); Stephan W. Gale, Phillip J. Cribb, Paul Ormerod)