Malaxis is a genus of terrestrial, occasionally semi-epiphytic, orchids which contains several hundred species widely distributed across the globe, especially in tropical and subtropical regions; some species are found in the temperate regions of Europe, North America, and East Asia. They produce up to five stem leaves, which are often plicate, and multiple small, usually inconspicuously colored flowers. Their flowers can be either resupinate or non-resupinate, and some are even known as "hyper-resupinate": the flowers rotates completely around (360 degrees) during the course of their development. Malaxis is thought to be closely related to the genus Liparis.
Malaxis spp. generally have solid tubers that produce simple stems bearing one or few leaves and a raceme of tiny mostly greenish flowers .