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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical Asia to W. Pacific.
Sarcanthus (Cleisostoma)


Schill and Pfeiffer (1977) examined Cleisostoma filiforme (Lindl.) Garay (as Sarcanthus filiformis Lindl.) and two unidentified species listed under Sarcanthus. Tetrads were convex with laevigate– microfoveolate sculpturing and a rounded sexine about 1 μm thick.

General Description

Epiphytic or rarely lithophytic or terrestrial herbs. Stems rigid, erect or pendent, rarely creeping, usually simple, many-noded. Leaves few to many, distichous, dorsiventrally flattened and conduplicate or terete, apex bilobed or acute, coriaceous, articulate to a tubular sheathing base. Inflorescence lateral, axillary or opposite leaves, perforating the leaf-sheath, racemose or paniculate, erect, horizontal or pendent, few- to many-flowered; floral bracts much shorter than pedicel and ovary. Flowers fleshy, resupinate. Sepals free, usually spreading, slightly unequal. Petals free, usually spreading, similar to sepals or smaller and narrower. Labellum adnate to column at its base or posterior margins of side lobes, immobile, trilobed, spurred at base; side lobes ascending, subdeltoid; midlobe porrect or erect, usually deltoid or sagittate, often with a prominent callus or thickening near base; disc often with longitudinal lamellae or ridges; spur conical, cylindrical or rarely shortly saccate, often longitudinally septate inside, rarely septum reduced to a narrow keel, usually with a prominent callus on back wall near mouth and often with outgrowths on front wall closing the entrance, the callus grooved, either alone or in conjunction with an opposing callus on the midlobe, completely obscuring opening to spur. Column with foot inconspicuous or absent; clinandrium shallowly excavate; anther cap terminal, operculate, frequently rostrate, pollinia four, arranged into two appressed, unequal masses, waxy, semi-globular, with a common stipe, stipe usually narrow, linear or broadened near apex, rarely broadly rectangular, viscidium single, subglobose to broad and horseshoe-shaped; stigma transverse, deeply recessed.


Cleisostoma comprises about 100 species known from Sri Lanka, India, China (including Taiwan), and mainland Southeast Asia, the Ryukyu Islands, Malaysia, and Indonesia to the Philippines, New Guinea, and northern Australia east to Fiji.


Species of Cleisostoma are epiphytes or sometimes lithophytes, rarely terrestrial, from sea level to 3050 m. They are known from dipterocarp forests, mangrove and kerangas forests, broad-leaved evergreen forests, Terai forests (Nepal), teak plantations, swamp forests, and scrub. Cleisostoma gjellerupii (J.J.Sm.) Garay occurs as a terrestrial in wet peaty glades at 3000 m in New Guinea.


No uses have been reported for Cleisostoma; it is occasionally cultivated.

Native to:

Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, Caroline Is., China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Fiji, Hainan, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Philippines, Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Himalaya

Introduced into:


Cleisostoma Blume appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Mar 1, 2012 Yong, R. [149], Sarawak K000718574
Oct 1, 2003 Sachs, C.C. [McL917], Fiji 29248.000
Oct 1, 2003 Vietnam 51205.000
Oct 1, 2003 s.coll. [s.n.], New Guinea 8454.000
Borneo 10463.000
New Guinea 12145.000
Cumberlege [1134], Thailand 25520.000
Kerr, A.F.G. [0188], Thailand 25526.000
Cumberlege [1176], Thailand 25529.000
Cumberlege [1305], Thailand 26819.000
Cumberlege [886], Thailand 27478.000
Cumberlege, P.F. [999], Thailand 27586.000
Mason, L.M. 29077.000
Kidman Cox, J. [140], Malaysia 29401.000
Thailand 29473.000
Mason, L.M. [2022], New Guinea 30183.000
Malaysia 31405.000
Giles, C. [911], Malaysia 31572.000
Dennis, G. [2258], Solomon Is. 31789.000
Leche, S. [2] 40381.000
Malaysia 44690.000
Millar, A.N. [NGF 22917], Papua New Guinea 44910.000
Wood, J.J., Malaysia 52947.000
Wood, J.J., Malaysia 54129.000
Wood, J.J., Malaysia 54130.000
Wood, J.J., Malaysia 54131.000
Lamb, A. [AL349/85], Malaysia 55161.000
Lamb, A. [AL1169/89], Malaysia 55349.000
Lohok, H. [9], Malaysia 56547.000
Comm, Malaysia 56760.000
Mason, L.M. [1623], New Guinea 7137.000
Talbot de Malahide 8508.000
Lamb, A. [AL113/83], Sabah 72483.000
Lamb, A., Sabah 72547.000
Lamb, A. [AL1183/89], Sabah 72860.000
Lamb, A. [AL1534/92], Sabah 72901.000
Lamb, A. [AL135/83], Sabah 72961.000

First published in Bijdr. Fl. Ned. Ind.: 362 (1825)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • O'Byrne, P. & Vermeulen, J.J. (2011). A revision of Cleisostoma in Sulawesi Malesian Orchid Journal 7: 63-75.
  • O'Byrne, P. (2010). Notes on Malesian Cleisostoma: part 2 Malesian Orchid Journal 5: 89-114.
  • O'Byrne, P. (2012). A revision of Cleisostoma in Peninsular Malaysia Malesian Orchid Journal 9: 57-114.
  • Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.C. & Rasmussen, F.N. (2014). Genera Orchidacearum 6: 1-544. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.

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The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.