Oeceoclades Lindl., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 18: t. 1522 (1832).
Aeceoclades Duchartre in Orbigny, Dict. Univ. Hist. Nat. 9: 170 (1849).
Eulophidium Pfitzer Entwurf Anordn. Orch.: 87
Terrestrial or rarely lithophytic herbs. Roots basal. Perennating organ stem-like or pseudobulbous, cylindrical, fusiform, conical orovoid, heteroblastic, often angular in cross-section. Leaves linear, lanceolate, ovate or elliptic, acute to acuminate, conduplicate and coriaceous or plicate, articulate at base, usually petiolate, green or mottled with light and dark green, rarely fl ushed with purpleInfl orescence lateral, usually exceeding leaves, simple or branching; bracts inconspicuous, persistent, rarely with an extrafl oral nectary. Flowers white, yellow, green or brown, sometimes purplestriped; labellum white or yellow with purple venation. Dorsalsepal free, erect to porrect, obovate to spatulate; lateral sepals oblique at base, otherwise similar to dorsal sepal. Petals free, similar or dissimilar to sepals, obovate to elliptic-oblong, often broader than sepals, often porrect. Labellum free to base, trilobed, spurred at the base, callose, lateral lobes free to base of column, midlobe fl at or convex; callus two- or three-ridged. Column with a distinct foot; pollinia two, ovoid or pyriform. Ovary cylindrical, grooved.
Oeceoclades comprises about 50 species, widespread in Madagascar and the African tropics. It is also found in tropical Asia, the southwestern Pacifi c islands, Australia, and recently the Neotropics. The centre of diversity lies in Madagascar. Oeceoclades pulchra (Thou.) M.A.Clem. & P.J.Cribb ranges from tropical Africa and Madagascar to tropical Asia, Australia, and the southwestern Pacifi c islands. Oeceoclades maculata (Lindl.) Lindl. is widespread in the tropical Americas as well as tropical Africa and Madagascar. Stern (1988) reasoned that this species originated in Africa and may have then seeded across the Atlantic in the Paleocene (54 million years ago) when Africa and South America were only 500 miles apart and spanned by volcanic islands, promoted by the development of autogamy; this hypothesis can be discounted due to the low levels of genetic divergence in this genus. It has to be a recent long-distance dispersal, perhaps man-assisted. It is weedy and is actively expanding its range.
Species are usually terrestrial and should be grown in a very free- draining terrestrial mix, preferably in a clay pot. They have rather few, but very thick roots, which rot easily if kept too wet. Most species grow in dry areas, but the leaves I usually persist for more than one season so that plants are never completely leafless.
Accordingly, although they should be kept drier when not in growth, plants should not be kept totally dry for any length of time, unlike deciduous terrestrials. If possible, water should be kept from the leaves, which have a tendency to turn black. Temperatures should be intermediate to warm.
World Checklist of Monocotyledons. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/monocots/ accessed1/20/2010