Laeliinae are one of the most prominent orchid subtribes, with c. 40 genera and nearly 1500 species, and contain a disparate group of taxa with widely varying morphological features. There does not appear to be a complex of characters to which one can refer in order to delineate the subtribe as a whole. Thus, it was thought that vegetative anatomy might provide clues to the monophyly of the group. The microscopic structure of the leaves, stems and roots of representatives of most of the genera was studied. It was concluded that the anatomy lacks overall uniformity and that vegetative characters alone are insufficient to assess the relationships amongst the genera. The only nearly consistent anatomical feature was the abaxial row of fibre bundles in the leaves. Thus, anatomically, as well as morphologically, Laeliinae are a mixed bag.
Stern, William and Carlsward, Barbara, "Comparative vegetative anatomy and systematics of Laeliinae (Orchidaceae)" (2009). Faculty Research & Creative Activity. 351.