Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl., 26. 1830.
Plants 12–60 cm. Pseudobulbs conic, slightly compressed, 5–7 × 2–3 cm, sheathed by bracts and persistent leaf bases, previous year’s pseudobulb usually present, connected by short rhizome, producing numerous fibrous roots. Stems pale green or green, sometimes suffused with purple-maroon, angled, prominently winged distally. Leaves 3–7, sheathing stem and pseudobulb, reduced distally to minute bracts; blade green, glossy, plicate, ovate or elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, 6–30 × 5.5–12 cm, membranaceous, apex broadly rounded to abruptly acuminate. Inflorescences 3–26 cm; floral bracts subulate to triangular-lanceolate, 6–12 × 3 mm, apex acuminate; pedicels stout, 3–5 mm. Flowers 10–40, greenish purple; dorsal sepal oblong-elliptic to linear-oblong, 5–8 × 1.8–4 mm, margins strongly revolute, apex broadly rounded to obtuse; lateral sepals falcate, ovate-oblong to elliptic, 4–7 × 2–3.5 mm, apex obtuse to subacute; petals falcate, linear-oblanceolate to narrowly spatulate, nearly tubular, 5–7.5 × 1–2 mm, margins strongly revolute; lip strongly arcuate-recurved, obcordate to broadly cuneate or oblong-flabellate, base obsoletely auriculate, apex emarginate, sometimes mucronate; callus with 2 fleshy tubercles on basal portion, maroon-purple, 4–5.5 ×3.5–5.3 mm; column stout, 3.5–5 × 1–1.5 mm, winged apically; anthers bright green; pollinia yellow. Capsules obovoid to ellipsoid, 12–15 × 5–6 mm.
Phenology: Flowering Jul–Sep.
Habitat: Cypress swamps on decaying logs and stumps, in rich humus of hammock or in wet muck, also dense hardwood forests
Elevation: 0–1500 m
Fla., Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Asia (Formosa, India, Japan, Thailand), tropical Africa, Pacific Islands (Philippines).
Liparis nervosa, a pantropical orchid, is probably the most widespread orchid in the world. Liparis nervosa has over fifty different published synonyms from tropical areas.