This is a genus of some 300 species of which there is only a single European representative (L. loeselii). Many of the species reside in the temperate zones of the Far East and America, whilst others find a home as tree dwelling epiphytes in tropical jungles.
In common with these tropical species but unlike most of its European
cousins, it possesses a pseudobulb which can be seen as a fleshy
enlargement of the lower stem.
propagates largely by self pollination which it achieves very
efficiently and to the point that it is quite normal for all the
individual flowers in a spike to form seed pods.The species is also
capable of vegetative propagation by means of the root tubers that form
at the base of the plant. In the early years of its life-cycle these
are penetrated by mycorrhizal fungus which provide nutrition.
This ability ceases as the plant matures.