With roughly 2300 known species in 133 genera (see Appendix), New Guinea is the richest area in the palaeotropics as far as orchids are concerned. Up to the present the only useful key with which orchids from New Guinea can be identified to genus level is that published by J.J. Smith in 1934. This key is now obsolete in several respects because of changes in nomenclature and in taxonomic views. Besides, Smith’s key is not always very practical; frequent use is made of characters which are difficult to evaluate in preserved material or which easily may be misunderstood. Yet, many orchid genera can be recognized at a glance, a fact which is not at all obvious from most keys that I have seen.