From the Greek 'Kypris', a name for Aphrodite (Venus) who was born on the island of Cyprus, and ‘pedilon’ a sandal or slipper, in reference to the shape of the lip. The suffix was incorrectly Latinized as -pedium rather than -pedilum. (Pridgeon et al., 1999).
Terrestrial herbs. Roots elongate, fibrous, arising from a short to elongate rhizome; rhizomes present, short to elongate, creeping. Shoots erect, leafy, clustered or well spaced, terete, hairy, glandular or glabrous, the base enclosed by two to four sheathing sterile bracts, one- to several-leaved above; pseudo-bulbs absent. Leaves one-several, usually plicate, prostrate, spreading or suberect, lanceolate, ovate, elliptic, oblong or cordate, obtuse to acute or acuminate, green, spotted with blackish maroon in some species, glabrous or hairy, ciliate or not on the margins. Inflorescence terminal, one- to many-flowered; rachis terete, hairy, glandular or glabrous; bracts usually leaf-like but smaller than the uppermost leaf, rarely linear. Flowers usually showy, con-colorous or two-coloured; pedicel obscure to elongate, elongating after fertilization in some species; ovary unilocular, three-ribbed, glabrous, hairy or glandular. Dorsal sepal erect to hooded over lip, ovate, lanceolate or elliptic, obtuse, acute or acuminate, glabrous or pubescent on the outer surface, rarely pubescent within, ciliate or not; lateral sepals usually fused to form a concave synsepal that is similar to the dorsal sepal, but free and linear-lanceolate in section Criosanthes. Petals free, spreading, incurved or clasping the sides of the lip, elliptic, ovate, lanceolate, linear-lanceolate or sub-pandurate, rounded, obtuse, acute or acuminate, often pubescent in basal half within, usually ciliate. Lip deeply pouched and inflated, slipper-shaped or urn-shaped, glabrous or hairy on outer surface; side lobes incurved, entire, often much reduced; midlobe deeply saccate, incurved or not on front margin, hairy within especially on lower surface. Column porrect, short, stalked; anthers two, bilocular, borne on short obtuse to acute filaments; pollen powdery or viscid; staminode terminal on column, sessile or stalked, oblong, ovate, cordate or linear, flat, convex or conduplicate, glabrous to papillose or finely pubescent, ciliate or not; stigma stalked, dependent, tripartite, more or less papillose. Capsule erect to pendent, three-ribbed, cylindrical to almost ellipsoidal. (PC).