Terrestrial, rarely epiphytic herbs, glabrous except for minute hairs on labellum or bracts or both. Roots filiform, not branching. Rhizome creeping, not branching, with scales. Pseudobulb consisting of one internode, alternating 1–6 bearing a leaf and one bearing an inflorescence, ascending, clearly articulated with petiole or scape, scales tubular, membranous, soon disintegrating. Leaf one per pseudobulb, convolute, not sheathing at the base, plicate, not deciduous, petiole channelled. Inflorescence an erect raceme on a leafless pseudobulb, both scape and rachis elongating during anthesis, scape with few internodes, scales tubular, persistent floral bracts persistent during anthesis. Flowers resupinate, widely spaced, most open simultaneously, turned to all sides, patent, widely open. Sepals free. Lateral sepals inserted on column foot. Petals equal in size and shape. Labellum motile, narrowly attached to column foot, trilobed, without spur (but column foot provided with a spur), fleshy, hypochile with claw on either side strongly pleated, front part on either side with an erect lateral lobe, keels three, conspicuous, median one shorter, epichile recurved, concave, lateral margins incurvate to inrolled, on base with two or three keels continued from hypochile. Column straight to curved forward with two small, rounded lobes on front of column foot and two lateral, fleshy keels that continue upwards on column, where they fuse and end below the stigma, margins on either side at or below middle with a seam that is drawn out into a flat, triangular or semi-orbicular wing that continues upwards as a narrow seam, column foot with a saccate spur; anther two-celled, pollinia two, hard, without caudicles, stipe or viscidium. Capsule with persistent remnants of perianth. (EdV).
This genus of four species ranges through Sikkim, India (Peninsular, Himalayas), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, China (Kwangsi), the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji Islands, and New Caledonia. (EdV).
Terrestrial forest plants, rarely epiphytes, growing on bases of trees or on dead wood on the ground. Elevation 300–2700 m. (EdV).
There are no known uses for Chrysoglossum. (AP).
There is no information available on the pollination of Chrysoglossum. (AP).
Blume did not select a type species in 1825 when he described the genus Chrysoglossum with two species—C. ornatum Blume and C. villosum Blume. Smith (1912) included the related genus Collabium in Chrysoglossum. He distinguished three sections: Euchrysoglossum, Collabium, and Discoglossum. In the type section (Euchrysoglossum) he included C. ornatum, stating explicitly that he regarded this species as the type. Section Discoglossum is monospecific, including only C. villosum. In 1914 Schlechter transferred C. villosum to a new monospecific genus, Pilophyllum, and kept Collabium separate from Chrysoglossum. Hallé (1977) superfluously selected C. villosum as the type species of Chrysoglossum. (EdV)