Subtribe Eulophiinae Benth., J. Linn. Soc. Bot., 18, 287 (1881), as Eulophieae.
Type: Eulophia R.Br. ex Lindl.
Terrestrial, lithophytic or epiphytic herbs, rarely chlorophylldeficient (heteromycotrophic) or holomycotrophic. Roots branching, basal or rarely adventitious, sometimes with apogeotropic, sharp, erect branches. Perennating organ stem-like or pseudobulbous if above ground, rhizomatous or tuberous if subterranean,cylindrical, fusiform, conical or ovoid, rarely leafl ess.
Leaves (if present) linear, lanceolate, ovate, obovate or elliptic, obtuse, acute or acuminate, pleated or conduplicate and coriaceous, articulate or not to a sheathing base, rarely lacking chlorophyll and scale-like in mycotrophic species. Inflorescence lateral, axillaryor subterminal, racemose, simple or branching; bracts persistent or deciduous.
Flowers concolorous. Sepals free, erect, ref exed or porrect. Lateral sepals oblique at base, otherwise similar to dorsal sepal, sometimes attached to column foot. Petals free, similar or dissimilar to sepals, often broader. Labellum attached to base of column or column foot, rarely fused to basal margins of column, trilobed, spurred or not, usually callose; lateral lobes usually free or rarely fused to basal margins of column, midlobe fl at or convex, callus two- or three-ridged, papillose or pubescent.
Column usually straight but sometimes arcuate or sigmoid, with or without a column foot; pollinia two and deeply cleft or four and in pairs of unequal size, usually subglobose and bilaterally flattened; stipe solitary or occasionally two, triangular to oblong; viscidium oblong, elliptic to lunate, rarely absent. Ovary cylindrical, grooved.
A subtribe of nine genera, mainly in the Old World tropics of Africa, Madagascar, Asia, and Australasia. Eulophia is pantropical but most diverse in Africa and Madagascar. One species of Oeceoclades has recently become widely spread in the Neotropics, but it is otherwise an Afro–Madagascan genus. Geodorum hasa tropical Asian and Australasian distribution. Four genera— Cymbidiella, Eulophiella, Grammangis, and Paralophia—are endemic to Madagascar. Acrolophia is endemic to southern Africa, and the poorly known Cyanaeorchis is endemic to Brazil.