Terrestrial herbs, usually hairy, arising from rounded underground tubers. Leaf solitary, basal, elongate, generally linear-lanceolate or oblong, hairy, emerging from fibrous sheath close to ground. Flowering stem covered in non-glandular and glandular hairs. Flowers with column uppermost, solitary or in loose raceme of up to 10, variously coloured, on erect flowering stem with a sheathing bract at or near the middle and a closely sheathing bract under each pedicel; dorsal sepal either erect, incurved over column, or more rarely hooded, usually narrow; lateral sepals and petals usually nearly equal to dorsal sepal but flat, spreading or reflexed, rarely curving upwards. Labellum on a movable claw, generally erect at base, undivided or 3-lobed, margins often fringed or toothed; lateral lobes, when present, usually erect and clasping sides of column; mid-lobe or distal part of undivided labellum recurved; lamina with sessile or stalked calli arranged in 2 or more longitudinal rows or irregularly scattered or crowded. Column erect or incurved, more or less winged in upper part, with or without 2 sessile yellow glands at base.
Over 200 species, mostly endemic in Australia, but 8 extending to New Zealand and a few extending to New Caledonia, Indonesia and Malaysia; c. 85 species and 1 named hybrid in Victoria.