A little known genus of Asian ground orchids containing perhaps as many as 19 species, though some names will be synonyms as the genus is poorly studied. They are found from India to Japan and Russia and south through parts of China to Myanmar and Taiwan.
Oreorchis grow from subterranean, corm-like pseudobulbs which are strung out along a thin rhizome in the manner of a miniature Calanthe or Aplectrum. The old bulbs are partially retained from year to year, attached to the rhizome. One or two, folded, 20-30cm long, quite narrow leaves of annual duration are made. The new bulb swells from their base a little like a pleione. The leaves die away in late spring, new ones appear in late summer. When vigorous, two shoots and leaves mean two new bulbs are made and the rhizome branches.
Bud are made in Autumn but the crowded flower spike, containing small to medium sized flowers is usually produced in late spring or early summer. The flowers are small but beautifully structured, most are in shades of yellow-brown, white and pink, often with a broad, spotted lip.