Herbs, epiphytic, monopodial. Roots velamentous, glabrous. Stems rhizomatous, very reduced [elongate]. Leaves early deciduous (“leafless species”), articulate, minute [persistent, distichous, leathery]. Inflorescences axillary, spikes [racemes], often secund. Flowers more than 12, distichous, resupinate [not resupinate], small to minute; sepals and petals connivent with spreading apices, distinct; lip distinct and free, basally spurred, margins entire or lobed; column very short; clinandrium prominent, truncate; anther terminal, operculate; pollinia 2, globose, waxy, hard, attached to 1 or 2 filiform stipes; stigma entire; rostellum deeply notched; ovary sessile [pedicellate]. Fruits capsules.
North America, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, tropical South America.
Species 40–45 (1 in the flora).