Coelogyne barbata plate
Coelogyne barbata plate from
Lindenia Iconographie des Orchidées

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Coelogyneae
SubTribe: Coelogyninae
Genus: Coelogyne
Lindl. 1821
Type Species
various species

Coelogyne Lindl. 1821, is a genus of over 200 sympodial epiphytes from the family Orchidaceae. The genus is abbreviated Coel in trade journals.


This genus is distributed across India, China, Indonesia and the Fiji islands, with the main centers in Borneo, Sumatra and the Himalayas. They can be found from tropical lowland forests to montane rainforests. A few species grow as terrestrials or even as lithophytes in open, humid habitats.


The wide distribution of this genus has resulted in a wide variety of temperature variation from species to species, some requiring cool to cold conditions to grow and bloom reliably, while others need decidedly warmer temperatures to achieve the same.

This genus lacks the saccate base of the labellum, a typical characteristic which is present in the other genera in the subtribe Coelogyninae. The free lip has high lateral lobes along the basal part of the labellum (hypochile) and smooth, toothed or warty keels.

The pseudobulbs of one internode vary in size. They may be closely or widely spaced through sympodial growth along the rhizome.

Inflorescences often show a small to very large number of showy, medium-sized to large flowers. They may arise either from the apex of the newly completed pseudobulb at the end of the growing season (as in Coelogyne fimbriata), or may precede the new growth in early spring (as in Coelogyne cristata). The typical colour range of this genus is white, through tawny brown to green, and occasionally peachy tones. All species have four pollinia.

They have often a sweet scent, attracting different kinds of pollinators, such as bees, wasps and beetles.

A few species are commonly known as 'necklace orchids', because of their long, pendant, multi-flowered inflorescence.

The cooler growing species such as Coelogyne fimbriata, Coelogyne ovalis, Colegyne fuliginosa, Coelogyne cristata, Coelogyne flaccida, Coelogyne nitida originate in the Himalayan region of India and southeast Asia. They require a decided rest period during winter during which they receive no feed, very little water (enough to prevent pseudobulbs shrivelling), cool to cold temperatures and high light. These conditions seem to aid flowering in spring for some growers, though others report that more constant conditions can also produce regular flowering.


Plants are usually grown in baskets. Plant grows in cool to warm temperatures depending on the species with moderate light to partial shade. Water regularly in the summer, about once every two days. Gradually reduce in the winter for cool species which require a rest, water about once every two to three weeks and gradually increase watering as new roots begin to show. Pot in a well drain medium. Pot in a plastic or clay pot with a mix of fine fir bark, tree fern fibers, and perlite or pot in New Zealand sphagnum moss.


The scientific name is derived from the Greek words koilos (hollow) and gyne (woman), referring to the concave stigma.


  1. Chelonanthera Bl. 1825
  2. Gomphostylis Wall ex Lindley 1836[1837]
  3. Hologyne Pfitz. 1907
  4. Ptychogyne Pfitz. 1907


The traditional taxonomy of the genus Coelogyne is still disputed. Coelogyne has been subdivided in 23 sections or subgenera by De Vogel (1994) and Clayton. Molecular data however show that Coelogyne is paraphyletic and should be reorganised, according to the study by Barbara Gravendeel et al. given in the reference works here below :

  • Coelogyne should include the genera Neogyna and Pholidota
  • the following sections should be removed from Coelogyne : sections Coelogyne (in part), Cyathogyne, Tomentosae, Rigidiformes, Veitchiae and Verrucosae.

This new genus Coelogyne should then contain about 160 species.

Species Edit


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